Bravo! has announced the highly-anticipated return of one of history’s most intriguing and infamous families, with the Season 2 premiere of the Canadian original series The Borgias, Sunday, April 8 at 10 p.m. ET. On and off the screen, some of Canada’s finest creative talent have helped rank The Borgias as the most successful new series in Bravo!’s history.
From breakout roles by Stratford’s Colm Feore and Montreal’s François Arnaud, and Gemini Award-winning production design by Montreal’s François Séguin, to Emmy-nominated visual effects by Toronto’s Spin VFX, The Borgias captivated nearly 3 million Canadians in its first season. Season 2 welcomes gifted Canadian television and film director Kari Skogland to join the critically-acclaimed team. With entire post-production completed in Toronto, The Borgias was shot on location in Hungary last summer and fall.
The international co-production (Canada/Hungary/Ireland), airing day-and-date with its U.S. broadcaster ShowTime, takes North American viewers back to Renaissance-era Italy where sin and debauchery were cloaked in robes of religious piety. Unlikely alliances, family warfare, political vengeance and religious corruption rule Season 2 of Bravo!’s hit Emmy and Gemini Award-winning series, which stars Oscar®-winning actor Jeremy Irons in his Golden Globe®-nominated role of the menacing patriarch Rodrigo Borgia.
“With Season 1 delivering record-breaking audiences for Bravo!, The Borgias returns to the forefront of Bravo!’s refreshed lineup of quality, immersive programming, highlighting some of the best creative minds Canada has to offer,” said Catherine MacLeod, Vice-President, Specialty Channels, Bell Media. “Season 2 promises to up the stakes with riveting storylines led by its outstanding cast and award-winning crew.”
Season 2 of The Borgias follows the cunning Rodrigo Borgia (Irons) after his ascent to the highest circle of power within Renaissance-era Italy, claiming the papal throne as Pope Alexander VI. Now, seeking to consolidate his power, Alexander enlists his family in an oath of revenge on the great noble houses that dared to stand against him, causing his Papacy to face political turmoil once again. But Alexander’s real problems lie with his children, all of whom are growing up and defying his authority.
The sibling rivalry between Cesare (Canadian François Arnaud) and Juan (David Oakes) soon turns to hatred as their father’s unwavering favouritism toward Juan pushes Cesare towards his darker side. When Lucrezia’s (Holliday Grainger) lover and the father of her child comes to Rome the consequences threaten to tear the family apart. Elsewhere in Rome, Alexander’s old enemy Della Rovere (Canadian Colm Feore) has entered the city incognito and conspires to assassinate him, while the religious zealot Savonarola stirs Florence into open rebellion against the papacy. At the centre of a storm of external enemies, and with his family at war with itself, Alexander is under siege.
In its critically-acclaimed first season, The Borgias landed four Gemini Awards, including Best Dramatic Series, and two Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Costumes for a Series. The series also garnered four additional Gemini Award nominations, four additional Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination for Jeremy Irons for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series Drama.
The Borgias is written by Academy Award®-winner Neil Jordan, David Leland (Mona Lisa) and Guy Burt (Kingdom). Executive Producers are Neil Jordan and James Flynn (Ireland), and Sheila Hockin and John Weber (Canada), with co-producers are Bill Goddard (Canada) and Karen Richards (EU). In addition to Hockin, Weber, and Goddard, the accomplished Canadian creative team includes film and television director Kari Skogland (The Listener, Bloodletting And Miraculous Cures, 50 Dead men Walking) who directs two episodes, returning Director of Photography Paul Sarossy (The Listener, Chloe), composer Trevor Morris, who took home an Emmy for his work on Season 1, and triple Emmy-nominated Vancouver VFX Supervisor Doug Campbell.
For Bell Media, Robin Johnston is Production Executive; Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production; Sally Basmajian is Vice-President and General Manager, Comedy and Drama; Catherine MacLeod is Vice-President, Specialty Channels; Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks; Rick Brace is President, Specialty Channels and CTV Production, and Phil King is President, CTV Programming and Sports.