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Jeremy Irons heads to The Borgias for Showtime

Jeremy Irons in Eragon

Story by Jack Foley

JEREMY Irons is to play Rodrigo Borgia, the patriarch of the powerful Renaissance family, in new Showtime historical drama The Borgias.

Ten episodes of the show have been ordered by Showtime as it prepares to bid farewell to hit Henry VIII drama, The Tudors.

Neil Jordan (of The Crying Game fame) will executive produce and direct the first two episodes, with Michael Hirst (of The Tudors) also serving as executieve producer.

The commission marks a personal coup for Jordan, who has been looking into the possibility of creating a Borgias saga for years in either a TV or feature film format.

Production on the show is due to begin in the spring with the series set to launch in early 2011.

The Borgias drama was unveiled as part of Showtime’s upcoming slate, which was unveiled in America on Saturday (January 9, 2010).

Another new drama, The C Word, starring Laura Linney as a woman diagnosed with cancer, is seen as another strong performer for female audiences from a channel that is already responsible for Edie Falco drama Nurse Jackie and Toni Collette hit United States of Tara – both of which are about to embark on second seasons.

The C Word co-stars Oliver Platt, while Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) is to guest star in the pilot.