The incipit of a piece at the Toronto Star:

It looks like I'm just going to have to go cold turkey.

Last Sunday night, when Brutus and his bunch turned Caesar into a pasta colander, Rome resolved its history-driven plot line for the season — and perhaps forever, as HBO now seems to be seriously rethinking its hasty second-season pickup of the $100-million epic, shutting down production in Italy last week.

I can't find anything more on this other than the Google summary of an article from a newspaper in Singapore, which may or may not suggest the production shut down was for artistic reasons ... If it does turn out to just be an unfounded rumour, well, that's just another reason not to believe the Toronto Star ...