Showtime’s rich, complicated Renaissance drama The Borgias will be coming to an end earlier than expected. The third season finale on June 16th will also serve as a series finale, as Showtime has also scrapped plans for a two-hour wrap-up movie. Though The Borgias held steady in the ratings this year, its production costs were deemed too high to continue. Additionally, creator Neil Jordan wasn’t sure he had enough material in mind for a full fourth season, but had still hoped to be able to wrap things up for Pope Alexander (Jeremy Irons), Cesare (François Arnaud) and Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) with a film.
The series’ complexity and intense drama has kept it on critics’ radars throughout its run (and included a Golden Globe nomination for Irons and 10 Emmys for the series so far), but unfortunately it never gained the exposure or interest of a period drama series like HBO’s Game of Thrones (and admittedly was never as engaging, though still made for great TV). Hit the jump for more on what Jordan had to say about the finale, and the way he had hoped to end the series in a movie.
Mickey Sumner shines in a fantastic supporting role playing Sophie, the lifelong best friend of Greta Gerwig’s titular heroine, in Frances Ha, co-written by Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach. Shot in black and white against the backdrop of New York City, this modern comic fable about the 20-something generation explores love, friendship, self-doubt, and finding your way in life. Sumner and Gerwig’s natural on-screen chemistry makes their characters funny and relatable and fuels some of the film’s most insightful and best comedic moments.
I recently landed an exclusive interview with Sumner who talked to me about the liberating experience of playing a role without a script, how she identified with her character, working with an amazing cast, Baumbach’s directing style, her reaction to seeing the film premiere at Telluride, why she loves being in front of the camera, and what she learned interning during summer holidays with her godmother, costumer designer Colleen Atwood, on the sets of Beloved and Planet of the Apes. The daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler, Sumner also discussed landing her first serious acting role in The Borgias, playing out her rock star fantasy as Patti Smith in CBGB, and her new romantic comedy, Misconnections. Hit the jump to read more.
From Academy Award-winning creator and executive producer Neil Jordan, the Showtime drama series The Borgias tells the story of Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons), the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the Borgia family, who ascends to the highest circles of power within Renaissance-era Rome to become Pope Alexander VI. With the Season 2 Blu-ray/DVD now available, viewers will get a complex and intimate portrait of one of history’s most intriguing families through special features, cast interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpses.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Francois Arnaud, who plays Cesare Borgia, talked about the responsibility of telling such a historically epic story, what fan can expect from Season 3 (which returns to Showtime on April 14th) and his character’s journey, exploring the unusually close relationship between Cesare and his sister Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger), that they don’t have many deleted scenes because they keep to a tight schedule, but that they do have a very funny 12-minute blooper reel, losing a cast member in Season 2, and how he focused on the physical work to prepare for Season 3. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
Hit the jump for details on the extras included on the aforementioned Blu-rays.
As part of the Showtime portion of the TCA Press Tour, President of Entertainment David Nevins took some time to talk about current and upcoming shows for the network, and the end game for a few of their long-time series. During the interview, he talked about how he felt about the creative direction of Homeland for Season 2, whether he’d consider continuing the series without Damian Lewis, how Dexter is progressing, that the contemporary genre thriller The Vatican (from Paul Attanasio and Ridley Scott) will go into production in April, how John Logan will be writing every episode of Penny Dreadful with the hope that Sam Mendes will direct, that it will be a psychological and highly erotic story set in Victorian London, what fans can expect from The Borgias, when Californication might end, the plan for when Episodes will return, what makes Masters of Sex a compelling series, and the epic feel of the multi-episode event documentary Years of Living Dangerously, from James Cameron. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Showtime has announced the premiere dates for its 2013 original series. Here’s a brief look at the schedule:
Hit the jump for more details on all of the aforementioned series.
One of the many films to premier at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Neil Jordan‘s vampire movie Byzantium. Starring Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones and Jonny Lee Miller, the film’s about the tension between mother and daughter vampires over their code of secrecy. Here’s the full synopsis and the first clip.
Shortly before the premiere, I was able to speak with Neil Jordan. We talked about TIFF, how Byzantium came together, did the film change during production, the current popularity of the vampire genre, his opinion of the first Twilight movie, his love of the ARRI ALEXA digital camera, deleted scenes, extended cuts, The Borgias, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
As part of the Showtime portion of the TCA Press Tour, President of Entertainment David Nevins took some time to talk about the status of a number of their current shows, as well as a couple of their upcoming projects. During the interview, he confirmed that Season 8 will likely be the last for Dexter, the status of Episodes, the future of The Borgias and Californication, what they see for Homeland, and why they’ve chosen to wrap up The Big C with four one-hour episodes. Nevins also talked about the tone of Masters of Sex, and the development of the Aztec drama Conquest with Ron Howard. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Before the 2012 Emmy Nominations are officially announced (July 19th), I wanted to jump in and highlight some of what I believe to be some of the best underrated performances on television this year. Putting aside some of the perennial winners, the following discussion for each of the major categories is likely to mention plenty of names who won’t get Emmy mentions this year, but certainly should (and others who may get a nod, but likely won’t win). Hit the jump for the (spoiler-free!) list that is not meant to be exhaustive (after all, I do watch an unhealthy amount of TV but I’m not caught up on everything), but hopefully brings at least a few of those dark horses to light with the recognition they deserve.
The Showtime drama series The Borgias is a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history’s most intriguing and infamous dynastic families. No matter the outside threats, the biggest problems that Pope Alexander (Jeremy Irons) had to face throughout Season 2 came from inside his own family, most specifically the sibling rivalry between sons Cesare (François Arnaud) and Juan (David Oakes), which came to a head in Episode 9. Please be aware that there will be spoilers, so stop reading now if you don’t want to know.
During a recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, British actor David Oakes talked about the outcome for his character, what it was like to shoot the penultimate scene with François Arnaud, trying to delay the inevitable fate of his character, what he thinks Season 3 might be like now, how it’s been to have such overwhelmingly positive fan support, and working with such an amazing cast. He also talked about where he’d like to go next in his career, and how he ended up as an actor. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
As part of the network’s TCA Press Tour presentation, President of Entertainment at Showtime, David Nevins, took some time to talk about their popular, long-running drama series Dexter, what he thought of the creative choices for this season, and the relationship between Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and his adopted sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). Nevins also talked about the status of future seasons of Nurse Jackie and The Borgias, his hopes for their latest comedy, House of Lies, and where this season’s most critically acclaimed new drama, Homeland, will be headed in Season 2. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
For fans of three Showtime series eagerly awaiting a new season, there’s good news. Today Showtime announced that Nurse Jackie starring Edie Falco, The Big C with Laura Linney and The Borgias with Jeremy Irons will all return in that order on the same night, Sunday, April 8th starting at 9/8c. Emmys and Golden Globes have all been thrown at each of the respective series for the aforementioned lead talent, so it’s no surprise that Showtime has plotted this huge block of three of their award-winning series. The full press release after the jump will serve as a bit of a refresher for how each series concluded their last season, and also hints at what’s in store as the new seasons kick off.
As part of the Showtime portion of the TCA Press Tour, President of Entertainment David Nevins took some time to talk about a growth in subscribers of the network, the direction of returning series, and where he sees series development going in the future. Here are the most interesting points:
- Showtime has added over 2 million subscribers, taking their total accounts to 20.5 million.
- Dexter returns for its sixth season on October 2nd, as the lead-in to the new drama series. Homeland, about a CIA officer (Claire Danes) who becomes convinced that a recently rescued American POW (Damian Lewis) may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot to be carried out on U.S. soil.
- Shameless, The Borgias and Episodes are all returning for a Season 2, with The Borgias being a massive production in its size and scope.
- The subversively funny comedy House of Lies, starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, about cutthroat members of a top-tier management consultant firm, will premiere in early 2012.
- Laughing Stock (premiering in early 2012), from producers Steve Carell and David Steinberg, will showcase in-depth, one-on-one interviews with the greatest comic minds of the past four decades, including Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Chris Rock, Larry David, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Judd Apatow, Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Carell, himself.
- They’re working on the script for the adaptation of the comic book 100 Bullets (written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Eduardo Risso) and, even though they’re not ready to commit to it yet, it is an important project for the network.
- He is optimistic about the future of Weeds, but United States of Tara was canceled because they felt the show had accomplished what it set out to accomplish.
Hit the jump for more of what he had to say.
Today brings good news for fans of a couple Showtime series, but bad news for others. Variety reports the cable network has renewed The Borgias and Nurse Jackie for another season, but has pulled the plug on The United States of Tara. News of the latter is somewhat surprising considering the show received some Emmy love in 2009 for star Toni Collette, but apparently the ratings just haven’t been up to par with last season’s numbers. meanwhile, Nurse Jackie starring Edie Falco has had a decrease in ratings, but not poor enough to justify not giving the series a fourth season. Meanwhile The Borgias starring Jeremy Irons seems to be standing strong as a freshman series, and will get a second season. I’m not very loyal to any shows on Showtime (though I really need to start watching Dexter), so maybe some fans out there would like to express their elation or sadness on this news?
In Elektra Luxx, the follow-up to writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez’s 2009 film Women in Trouble, actress Emmanuelle Chriqui plays Bambi, a sexy stripper who has gone on a getaway trip to Mexico with her best friend, Holly Rocket (Adrianne Palicki). While away, porn star Holly Rocket decides to finally get up the courage to tell Bambi how she really feels about her, truly shocking the unexpecting Bambi.
At the film’s press day, Emmanuelle Chriqui did this exclusive interview with Collider, where she talked about revisiting this character, how much she has enjoyed working with Adrianne Palicki, and how Sebastian Gutierrez is great to work with because he just innately understands her, as a person. She also talked about voicing a character on the ThunderCats reboot on Cartoon Network (update: we’ve spoken to the studio and confirmed it’s Cheetara) and the Tron: Uprising animated series (set to air on Disney XD in the summer of 2012, with a preview on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Tron: Legacy), her role on the upcoming Showtime series The Borgias, and what she’d like to see happen with her character on the last season of the HBO series Entourage. Check out what she had to say after the jump: