2005: 'Rome' Rises on HBO
On this day in 2005, HBO introduced the BBC/HBO-produced historical drama, Rome. Set in the 1st century BC, the series looked at the rise of the Roman Empire through the eyes of two Roman soldiers, Lucius Vorenus (portrayed by Grey's Anatomy's Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson). The series also stars Ciaran Hinds as Julius Caesar, Kenneth Cranham as Pompey Magnus, James Purefoy as Mark Antony, Polly Walker as Atia and Simon Woods as Octavian.
Season one depicts Julius Caesar's rise to power to his assassination, and follows the earl life of Octavian, the future Roman emperor, Augustus. Season two focuses on the power struggle between Octavian and Mark Antony.
The series was a hit with both critics and viewers and five seasons were planned, but crippling costs forced Rome's cancellation after just two seasons.