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") and flocks of miffed cardinals gliding along darkened corridors like motorised pepperpots".Sam Wollaston recalled the 1981 BBC miniseries of the same name, which had been widely panned, and said there was "more thought to this  version, and attention to character.
Colm Feore also stars as Cardinal della Rovere (later Pope Julius II).Their youngest sibling, Gioffre, is a minor player in the first season, not seen at all in the second, and doesn't become a major plot point until the third and final season.The show also addressed Lucrezia's first and second marriage, her illegitimate child, the affair between Alexander VI and Giulia "La Bella" Farnese, the rise of Girolamo Savonarola in Florence, his Bonfire of the Vanities and eventual burning for heresy.The series cancellation prevented the death of Pope Alexander VI and the succession of Pope Julius II from being explored, and the downfall of Cesare Borgia.Jordan had tried to direct a film about the Borgia reign for over a decade, and the project had many times come close to fruition, with stars such as Colin Farrell and Scarlett Johansson attached to it.The show's first season received generally favorable reviews in the United States, scoring 66 out of 100 based on 25 critics on Metacritic. seen from a safe distance, captured by a sterling cast led in marvelous high style by Jeremy Irons, and presented with all the brio, flair and sumptuous design TV can muster, the infamous family is almost addictively entertaining".
However, it was met with a more mixed reception in the United Kingdom.
Rachel Ray of The Daily Telegraph called Irons' performance "disappointingly undiabolical".
She added that the show is "for history buffs, not for viewers looking for another Godfather".
On June 5, 2013, Showtime canceled the series, a season short of Jordan's planned four-season arc for the series.
The cancellation was implied to be due to the expense of production, with plans for a two-hour wrap-up finale also scrapped.
For the role of Rodrigo Borgia, Jordan turned to Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, known for playing villains and anti-heroes.