Strong launch for The Borgias on Showtime

The BorgiasThe launch of Showtime’s new historical drama The Borgias proved a hit with American audiences last night as it gave the broadcaster its biggest premier in nearly 7 years.

The drama is based on the notorious Italian family of the same name who lived during the Renaissance period. The family have inspired various dramas before including the infamous BBC serial of the 1980s, also titled The Borgias, which was widely panned and was a ratings failure. The Showtime version of The Borgias launched on Sunday evening with a total audience of 1.5 million viewers – slightly higher than the broadcaster’s premier remake of Shameless earlier this year which had 1.3 million. This means The Borgias is Showtime’s best series launch in nearly 7 years.

The drama is Showtime’s successor to its previous historical series; The Tudors. The drama bowed out last year after four seasons chronicling the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers). In the UK the final episode of The Tudors aired on Saturday night on BBC Two. The Borgias stars Jeremy Irons, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Ruta Gedmintas and Colm Feore. In the UK it will air on the newly launched digital channel Sky Atlantic over the Summer