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HBO's ROME!! Fall's Best New Drama Wraps Season One!!

I am – Hercules!!

“Pullo’s dead to me.”

Was there a scene in “Gladiator” as much fun as Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus bloodily schooling Pullo’s ill-mannered arena opponents near the conclusion of last week’s penultimate “Rome”?

It’s no more Mr. Nice Gaius tonight as Ciaran Hinds departs HBO’s acclaimed Sunday-night drama, which has elegantly evolved the famed Shakespeare history into a kind of pre-Jesus “Sopranos.”

If it’s not readily apparent that “Rome” is at its core a well-spoken gangster drama, replay Pullo’s “Murderer! Murderer! Murderer!” scene from “The Spoils.” When Titus drops his bloodied blade, it’s impossible not to think of Michael Corleone ditching his fingerprint-resistant revolver after capping McClusky and The Turk.

“Rome” is sixtysomething “Apocalypse Now” screenwriter John Milius’ first stab at producing a TV show, and boy, did he ever pick the right place to start! (Even if a far greater American audience would rather watch “Desperate Housewives.”)

HBO transmits the series' second season in 2007. Take up valuable bandwidth with your predictions and reactions.

9 p.m. Sunday. HBO.

Season sets selling new for just $19.97 per season!!
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