Tom Fontana's 'Borgia' Gets Second Season Order

The papal period drama will start shooting in Prague and Italy and reach the U.S. and U.K. via Netflix.

PARIS - Lagardere, EOS,  ZDF, ORF and Canal Plus will join forces again for the second season of Tom Fontana’s period drama Borgia. The next twelve episodes of the series will shoot in Prague and Italy through November.

The series, which stars John Doman of The Wire as bad Pope Rodrigo Borgia, has been a ratings hit for its European broadcasters and has sold to 50 territories worldwide. Netflix bowed the show online in the U.S. and U.K. and has signed on for the second season. Beta Film is handling international sales for Borgia at international TV confab MIP-TV in Cannes next week. 

Borgia premiered to record ratings in France last Fall on Canal Plus and delivered solid numbers in Germany on ZDF, in Italy on Sky Italia, in Spain on Cosmopolitan TV and in Poland on Canal Plus Poland.

"The audience really dug into it, and we received many requests to continue the fascinating stories about this dysfunctional family," Atlantique’s Klaus Zimmerman and Olivier Bibas said, adding: "With the second season in the making, Borgia now takes on the status of a long-running series with a universal resonance. It is a great premiere for a European initiative that affirms our feeling that there is truly a market for audiovisual production in the future."

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Season two will bring Borgia's action from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, kicking off in 1494 as the controversial family reunites after the death of Rodrigo Borgia’s oldest son Juan. Much of the new season will focus on the rise of Prince Cesare Borgia, played by actor Mark Ryder. Joining Ryder in front of the camera will be an international cast including Isolda Dychauk Andrea Sawatzki, Marta Gastini, Art Malik and Assumpta Serna.

"Borgia has been and continues to be a creative joy and a personal pleasure. I love the mix of talented Europeans (and Americans) we've assembled, both in front of and behind the camera," series creator Fontana said, adding: "Working with Lagardère, Canal + and Beta has been a unique and thrilling experience. And I know that our new season of stories will take us where we were last year and launch us Heavenward!"

Fontana has partnered with Beta again for upcoming 10-part event series Copper. Set in 1860s New York and starring Dylan Taylor, Kevin Ryan and Franka Potente, Copper makes its market premiere at MIP-TV next week.