Jonathan Hession/ SHOWTIME
Lynette Rice
May 23, 2011 AT 08:11 PM EDT

The freshman season of The Borgias finished strong for Showtime on Sunday: The period drama that stars Jeremy Irons averaged 810,000 viewers at 10 p.m. and 1.1 million viewers for the night. Overall this season, the series about a crime family in Italy circa 1492 lured 3.3 million weekly viewers and outperformed the highest-rated season of The Tudors by 20% (season four, 2.7 million).

Other recent hits for Showtime include Shameless (3.8 million) and The Big C (3.5 million).

The Borgias has already been picked up for a second season. Production will begin this summer for a 2012 premiere.

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