I greatly enjoyed the "I, Claudius" novels and the television series, and the television series was very popular here, although that's been a long time ago now. As is so often the case with English television, the "I, Claudius" television series was broadcast on public television. "Rome" was broadcast, though, by HBO, which meant that it was only originally available to cable or satellite television viewers who pay for the premium services, of which HBO is one. Later, it was broadcast (with commercial interruption) on the History Channel, which is usually bundled into the cable or satellite package. I watched a few episodes, and was impressed with their dedication to realistic sets, costumes and artifacts--which undoubtedly stems from the fact that most of the production and filming were done by Italians and in Italy, and by Croatians and in the former Yugoslavia (long having close ties to Italy).
What always amused me though, in the Claudius series in particular, is that the lower classes are identified by "lower class" English accents, and the aristocracy by English public school accents. I'm sure the point was to signal to English viewers who was who. That was less noticeable in "Rome." The series "Rome" was mostly not
about historical events, though, as it relied a lot upon speculation and "dramatization" about members of the Patrician class, and was heavily involved in the affairs of members of the Plebeian and Equestrian classes. As i like to say, it was based on actual fiction. The reliable historical events to which it referred were properly handled, but only provided a backdrop for the "continuing nighttime drama."