Early this year, HBO took its Emmy Award-winning historical drama, Rome, off the air, and among those who are still sorely disappointed at the show’s cancellation is George Lucas, the man behind the highly successful Star Wars series.
“They just were starting to get going! Augustus was the greatest emperor of all time, and nobody’s ever told his story,” Lucas told TV Guide. For those who are unfamiliar with HBO’s Rome, the series was set during the violent transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. The first season depicted the rise and fall of Julius Ceasar’s rule, as well as the early life of Augustus (Max Pirkis).
By the fourth episode of the second season, however, the viewers were introduced to a much older Augustus (Simon Woods), and the focus of the series had shifted to the power struggle that existed between Augustus and Mark Antony (James Purefoy).
“I think they short-circuited themselves by changing actors for Augustus halfway through that thing because he was only 19 when he took over,” Lucas told TV Guide. “He wasn’t the big evil guy that they made him out to be. And the 50 years he was on the throne were the greatest 50 years in Roman history in terms of civilization, and that was when the empire actually existed. It was building up to that moment, up until Caesar, and then after Augustus died, it went downhill.”
Rome, which was originally conceived as a miniseries, first debuted on HBO in 2005, and the premiere drew in 8.9 million viewers over 11 broadcasts. The show received many accolades, including seven Emmys. Despite being a ratings success and critical favorite, the network decided to cancel the series due to high production costs. The first season alone cost the network around $100 million.
At this point, Lucas, along with the numerous fans of HBO’s Rome, will have to settle for watching the show on DVD. The complete second season was released early last month.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: TV Guide
(Image Courtesy of WireImage)