This arrived in the Mt. Olympus mailbox yesterday:
After an article in the New York Times (17th November) the second season of Rome is now in question. Pre-production has stopped in Italy and the producers are baffled by the possible "un-greenlighting" of the show. Why is HBO head, Albrecht making such a public statement from out of the blue without discussing with the shows producers when the show has just found it's dramatic stride?
Call me "eye"
The story by Bill Carter in the New York Times discussed the future of HBO's original series. An excerpt:
[HBO chairman Chris] Albrecht announced only a couple of weeks into ["Rome's"] run that he was renewing the series for another season. But in the interview he said, "That ship hasn't entirely sailed yet."
The reason, he said, has nothing to do with how well "Rome" turned out. Mainly, the issue has been money. "Rome" was wildly expensive, costing an estimated $100 million. It initially experienced debilitating production delays, fueling rumors that it was a troubled show. Once it was on the air and was seen to be a quality production, Mr. Albrecht said, those rumors subsided.
But he said those delays meant he had only a short window of time to retain a hold on the actors, which was why he renewed the series so quickly. For now, that means ordering scripts, which will be difficult to write because they need to cover the complicated period following the fall of Caesar.
"The real reason why, even though I ordered the show, we haven't formally gone into production, is how long it's going to take," he said. " 'Rome' won't be back until, at the earliest, March of 2007. Which makes you say to yourself: When I bring the show back, can I build an audience?"
If you can hold of it, read the whole story. It’s great. The final two sentences read like this:
Re-emphasizing just how unconcerned he really is about that competitor, [Albrecht] noted the critical reaction to "Desperate Housewives" this season. "Anybody who knows anything about television," he said, "could look at that show and say: two years, maybe three."