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'The Borgias' delivers strong numbers in Showtime bow

April 4, 2011 |  4:09 pm

Jeremyirons On a night crowded with cable premieres, "The Borgias" delivered solid ratings Sunday for Showtime, which saw better numbers than it did for the opening of "The Tudors" a few years back.

The premiere of the series about the famously treacherous Italian family — with Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia, the Renaissance baron who became a pope — delivered 1.1 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

That's a decent showing for a pay outlet such as Showtime, and it easily surpassed the 869,000 who showed up for the launch of the network's "The Tudors" in 2007.

Sunday made for a competitive night on cable TV, as AMC's crime drama "The Killing" and ReelzChannel's controversial miniseries "The Kennedys" also opened. Interestingly, the Showtime series will also have a rival in a European-financed version of the Borgia clan's story, produced by former "Homicide" writer Tom Fontana.

Show Trackers, what do you think of "The Borgias"?


Jeremy Irons talks about "The Borgias"

— Scott Collins (

Photo: Jeremy Irons in "The Borgias." Credit: Jonathan Hession / Showtime.