The BBC's I, Claudius (made back in the seventies and a re-run horse since) includes some scenes that would have been pretty much unthinkable on primetime tv today, even in the UK. There's a scene with the emperor Caligula seducing his younger sister, pinning her hands up in chains in order to sodomize her - she's too drugged to really bother - and ending up killing her. That would never have made it into Stargate, um, not even into Boardwalk Empire or CSI.
On the other hand though, I feel series such as The Tudors or Boardwalk Empire, while they're technically lavish, tend to get too declamatory. the characters are so obviously speaking at us, in big type, to tell us what's going on, what the characters think of something, what they have misjudged and who's the intrigue master at the moment. You get to see the people and a lot of the action but still it seems to violate the rule "show, don't tell"; there's too much fingerpointing in the dialogue and too little real, credible ensemble acting.