July 30, 2013 12:47pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Showtime Boss to Protesting 'Borgias' Fans: Try Kickstarter
Fans of Showtime's recently canceled drama The Borgias took advantage of the cable network's time at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour Tuesday to send a message to executives.
As Showtime entertainment president David Nevins made his way into the Beverly Hilton, a lone protester dressed in a white monk's robe stood outside the hotel with a message to save the Jeremy Irons drama.
Additionally, fans of the series took to the sky and hired a plane to fly a banner over the network's Dexter-themed outdoor lunch with a simple message: "D Nevins: Sho fans you care -- save The Borgias."
"You can't do it all. I would love to do the final two-hour movie, but you have to marshal your resources and put it behind things that you think have future growth," Nevins tells The Hollywood Reporter of the save-our-show campaign.
Nevins notes that he did stop to speak to the lone protester outside the hotel Tuesday but was disappointed with the outcome.
"The one protester outside -- I stopped to talk to him, a dude named Zack, [who] never watched The Borgias," he says of the campaign that includes a website and Twitter feed. "There was one protestor out there in a white monk's robe and he'd never watched the show. He's a paid protester."
Showtime canceled The Borgias in June after three seasons. The Neil Jordan series, which stars Irons as Pope Alexander VI, was originally planned to run four seasons to parallel the duration of its predecessor at the network: The Tudors.
Jordan initially planned to end the series with a two-hour movie, which Nevins commissioned. Ultimately, the venture proved too expensive and the decision was made to allow the June 16 season-three finale to wrap up the story.
"I get a lot of e-mails from fans in Romania, Italy and Croatia, disappointed about The Borgias," Nevins acknowledges.
The executive, who is currently prepping another religion-themed drama with The Vatican starring Friday Night Lights favorite Kyle Chandler, does have a message to The Borgias' dedicated and vocal fan base.
"Kickstarter seems to be the financing mode du jour," he says.
The lone protester was joined in the afternoon by the pages from the CW's period drama Reign -- an addition Nevins joked about during his executive presentation following the lunch break. With both shows in the similar genre, the CW looked at it as an opportunity to market its upcoming Mary, Queen of Scots, drama.
A spokesperson for the Save the Borgias campaign confirmed in an email to THR that the initial protester was paid by the fundraising group of more than 5,000 participants worldwide to represent them during the workday when many were unable to attend. The group says it has collected more than 15,000 signatures in the month since the series ended.