The Borgias (2011–2013)
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The Poisoned Chalice 

Extremely ruthless and ambitious cardinal Rodrigo Borgia uses bribery to take advantage of the death of the current Pope and rise to the Papacy.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Rodrigo Borgia
... Cesare Borgia
... Lucrezia Borgia
... Vanozza Cattaneo
... Juan Borgia
... Micheletto
... Johannes Burchart
... Cardinal Orsini
Aidan Alexander ... Gioffre Borgia
... Giuliano Della Rovere
... Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
Stephen Noonan ... Deacon Cardinal
Michael Poole ... Pope Innocent
... Cardinal Versucci
... Cardinal Piccolomini


On the death of Pope Innocent VIII in 1492, Cardinals meet in conclave to elect his successor. Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia has waited all of his life for this opportunity and he is not going to let it pass. With no successful candidate on the first and several successive ballots, he secretly communicates with his son Cesare, advising him on which Cardinals to bribe in order to get their votes. Successfully elected, he moves quickly to establish hi control over the Church. As Pope Alexander VI, he also decides that the Pope must not be chaste but be seen to be chaste and tells Vanossa, the mother of his children, that they can no longer have a physical relationship. The Pope is no sooner elected than his son Cesare discovers a plot to poison him at a banquet hosted by Cardinal Orsini. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

3 April 2011 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Even though Cesare played by Francois Arnaud is older than Juan, actor David Oakes who plays Juan is 2 years older than Francois (Cesare). See more »


The real Orsino Orsini was Giulia Farnese's husband, not a cardinal. The Borgias did poison a Giambattista Orsini in 1503, not 1492. See more »


[first lines]
Pope Innocent: [on his death bed] You are afraid to enter, but you must. I am about to meet my maker. I have confessed. And I confess I am very afraid. Colonna. Sforza. Orsini. Borgia.
Rodrigo Borgia: Your Holiness.
Pope Innocent: Della Rovere. You will fight like dogs over this corpse I leave for this throne of St. Peter's. But it was pure once. We have all sullied it with our greed and lechery. Which of you will wash it clean?
Rodrigo Borgia: It shall be cleansed, Your Holiness, with the tears we shed for you. I swear before the Living God.
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The Borgias Main Titles (Instrumental)
Written by Trevor Morris
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User Reviews

The best of the new season so far!
5 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

Loved it! Everyone seemed to think it would be along the lines of The Tudors, likely because they are both Showtime, and because The Borgias takes place only about 50 years before The Tudors. But I found it to really be more similar in feel to Rome with a touch of NBC's Kings, two great shows. I love shows that feature a lot of conspiracies, betrayal, intrigue, and suspense. I have heard some were disappointed with the premiere because it did not feature as much sex and murder as they had hoped. I am not a fan of those unless they are necessitated by the story. And although I thought it had a fair amount of sex and murder, it was not gratuitous, so I am pleased. Of the three big shows that premiered recently, The Borgias, Camelot, and The Killing, this is so far my favourite.

I suspect only until Game of Thrones premieres. :P

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