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LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Scheming Italian renaissance family "The Borgias" will be the subject of a U.S. television series next year, with Oscar-winning British actor Jeremy Irons playing the starring role.
Robert Greenblatt, entertainment chief of Showtime, told TV reporters on Saturday the cable channel had ordered 10 episodes of "The Borgias" to be directed by Neil Jordan, who won a screenwriting Oscar for his 1992 film, "The Crying Game."
"The Borgias" will air in spring 2011 and replace Showtime's hit steamy English period drama "The Tudors," whose fourth and final season starts in April.
The Borgia family, one of whose members became Pope Alexander VI in 1492, was notorious for murder, rape and corruption in 15th century Italy and has inspired a number of books, plays and films.
Irons, 61, won an Oscar for his role as socialite Claus von Bulow in the 1990 movie "Reversal of Fortune."
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Peter Cooney