Italian TV viewers are staying away in droves from the HBO/BBC series "Rome," it was reported Sunday.
As the second season of the lusty drama prepares to start filming at Rome's Cinecittà studios, a PG-version of the series' first season is airing on Rome's RAI2, Daily Variety reported Sunday.
Italian media blasted the watered-down version -- minus all nudity and violence -- and challenged the historical accuracy of the series, as well as its use of British actors to portray Romans.
"Watching British actors playing Romans rubs a lot of people the wrong way and prompted the press to find fault with the historical accuracy," an RIA spokesman told Variety.
So far, the epic has drawn a disappointing 10 percent audience share, only half the number of viewers who watched Woody Allen's 1983 comedy "Zelig" at the same time on the Mediaset channel, Variety said.
Filming of "Rome's" season two is scheduled to start April 10. The only major change leaked so far is Max Pirkis will not be back as Octavian, as the character will be aged.