Tom Fontana's 'Borgia' sells to Sky Italia

European production to compete with Showtime's 'The Borgias.'


COLOGNE, Germany -- Sky Italia has picked up rights to Borgia, the high-end historic series from Tom Fontana starring The Wire's John Doman as Rodrigo Borgia, alias bad Pope Alexander VI.

The Italian pay player is the first major European broadcaster - aside from commissioning channels Canal +, ZDF and ORF - to bet on Borgia, which is going head-to-head with Showtime's similarly-themed The Borgias starring Jeremy Irons.

Fontana's Borgia project is still searching for a U.S. network.

Beta Film, which is selling the Borgia series worldwide, earlier inked a deal with HBO Latin America for the show.

Borgia is currently shooting in Prague. The series is set to air in Europe this fall.