Showtime Renews 'The Borgias' For Third Season

Jonathan Hession/Showtime

21 Emmy noms, led by "The Borgias"

Showtime has handed down an order for 10 more episodes of The Borgias.

The lavish period piece, starring Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI, will air its third season in 2013.

Premiering in 2011, The Borgias' return has not been welcomed by somewhat softer ratings. The second season debut launched with 604,000 total viewers, down from its series premiere and freshman-season finale, and this past Sunday's episode earned 579,000 viewers. However, across encores, On Demand and other platforms, The Borgias premiere has earned an estimated 2.6 million viewers. It also earned one of Showtime's most extensive sampling audiences to date, with 1.13 million viewing the episode before the air date. The first season averaged 3.2 million viewers across platforms.

The first season earned Irons a Golden Globe nomination and Emmys for outstanding costumes and main title theme music. Its return has been greeted by largely favorable reviews from critics.

Showtime Networks entertainment president David Nevins made the announcement Friday, noting that production would begin this summer in Budapest, Hungary.