International Buyers Hot for 'The Borgias'


CBS Studios sells Showtime drama across Europe, Asia at MipTV.

CANNES - Seems incest, swordplay and heaving breasts are universal. CBS Studios International has sold Showtime's new period potboiler The Borgias around the world, recently locking down multiple territories at international TV market MipTV.

CBS said the series, which bowed in the U.S. to an impressive 1.06 million viewers Sunday, has been snatched up by channels across Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Many of the biggest deals for The Borgias were signed ahead of MipTV, including ones with Sky Atlantic in the U.K. and Ireland, Telecinco in Spain and with Germany's ProSiebenSat.1.

“This is a series tailor-made for the international market,” said CBS Studios International president Armando Nunez. “From the subject matter to the production values to the star power, The Borgias is a project that stood out from the beginning and the sales momentum soon followed.”

Created and co-written/co-directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), The Borgias stars Jeremy Irons as the ruthless patriarch Rodrigo Borgia, the man who will become the infamous Pope Alexander VI.

You can read our review of The Borgias here.

Showtime's new series is fighting in a crowded field for costume dramas. The Borgias went head-to-head with Starz new costumer Camelot with the Arthurian drama, starring Eva Green and Joseph Fiennes emerging the narrow victory, with 1.1 million viewers tuning in.

Read our review of Camelot here.

At MipTV, The Borgias is also competing with a similar, all-European project, Borgia, starring John Doman as Rodrigo Borgia, which Euro networks Canal Plus, ZDF and ORF are producing and Beta Film is selling world-wide.