HBO has a history of creating ground-breaking series that change the landscape of television for the better. The Sopranos, The Wire, and Game of Thrones are all regarded among the best ever made, and they have inspired other, similar content. Modern TV series nowadays are more like mini-movies, and they are a huge draw for streaming platforms.
Rome is one of the most ambitious offerings that HBO has ever created, and the historical epic was lauded at the time of its release. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after two seasons due to high production costs. There is an argument, though, that now would be the perfect time to bring it back.
Themes of the Era are Prevalent in Popular Culture
After the incredible scale of Game of Thrones, and the emergence of similar series like it, now would be a great time to revisit Rome. The audience is already there, ready and waiting, for more sword-based content, and other streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon are providing it with The Witcher and Lord of the Rings respectively.
Roman themes have always been found in mainstream culture and are more popular than ever in today’s sprawling entertainment industry. The gaming sector is absolutely packed with Rome-based content, with offerings like Total War: Rome Remastered, Ryse: Son of Rome, and the Caesar franchise all being well-loved.
In game lists where developers need their offerings to stand out, Roman-themed games will often get players’ attention. For instance, at Bodog, if you have a look to their website, you will see titles like Caesar’s Victory and Caesar’s Empire. These are dispersed between games of other genres, but the draw of the Roman visuals is hard to ignore. Despite existing over two millennia ago, Romans are prevalent in today’s online world. This popularity highlights how there would be a huge audience out there ready to watch Rome if it returned to screens.
Rome was an Epic Series Released at the Wrong Time
Rome was a collaborative production between the BBC and HBO, with HBO footing the lion’s share of the bill for the 22 episodes that aired over the course of two seasons between 2005 and 2007. It was a high-scale offering that depicted the transition of Ancient Rome from Republic to Empire.
The series was hugely successful, not only drawing in a large number of viewers but also garnering positive reviews across the board. In addition, it picked up numerous awards, including four Emmys. Unfortunately, due to whopping production costs of $100 million per season, HBO decided that Rome wasn’t viable and cancelled it before the release of the second season.
There’s an argument to suggest that Rome was simply released at the wrong time. This was before the dawn of streaming services, and when higher production costs were better served in movies. Now, though, streaming platforms don’t think twice about making such huge investments to try to help them win the battle for subscribers.
HBO should strongly consider rebooting Rome for HBO Max. It has upped its production budgets massively in recent years, and the money it would take to make this series would be worth it if it could lure in more subscribers.