Syfy Acquired SPARTACUS from STARZ

Syfy Acquires SPARTACUS, will premiere in June 2014

Holy what?  Yes, Syfy has taken a step in the serious action drama direction by acquiring the rights to all episodes of STARZ's original production series of Spartacus.  The rights include a 39 episode count, including the prequel to the series, which aired between seasons 1 and 2. That's the entire run of Spartacus!  (I never thought in a million years of this development.  In fact, I never thought of it, period!)

Syfy is moving fast with this acquisition and has also announced that Spartacus will premiere on Syfy on June 26th at 10pm.

( Psst: Defiance — Marathon on Monday, May 26 at 8 a.m. ET.  Returns for Season Two on June 19 at 8/7c )

Amongst its acquired TV shows that is produced elsewhere, and aired on Syfy, (IE: Lost Girl, Bitten, Continuum), this is going to put those other shows to shame.  If this is your thing.

(Hey Arrow fans, see Manu Bennett in a whole new light!)

As it goes, I rank their acquired shows with Bitten on the bottom an Continuum at the top of the heap, with Lost Girl and all its "allures," starting to jump the shark in the story line.

You should know though, that Spartacus brings forth a new kind of writing and quality you may not be used to on any Syfy series to date (see press release details below.). And it brings with it a fantastic trio of general story lines to follow:

There's the story of the slaves and their own heirarchy in the stables. Their hopes, and love.  All while being abused by their slave owners, for whatever purpose they deem fit.

There's the story of the politics behind the various slave owners and who positions themselves in the right place at the right time to entertain the masses.  Whose favor do they pursue.

And there's the individual stories under each roof, or slave owner.

When it first aired on Starz, I found the story compelling to follow.  And this show has a beginning, middle and end to it.  So there's no following this show where the writing finds itself grabbing at straws to keep production going.


Spartacus cast member Manu Bennett - by Bruce Simmons
I have a really cool story of why I became a life-long fan of Many Bennett if you want to hear it. 
Just leave a comment saying so!

But Syfy is going to have its hands full with Spartacus, in both the verbal and visual departments.

First, there's the amount of gore in the original production that aired.  It had severed limbs (and other things), and blood splatter flying through the air at every battle.

There's the gratuitous nudity and sex in the series.  Slaves were used to keep the house clean, tend to the basics, provide entertainment in fighting, and when desired, called upon for "other" demands.

Both of these points will be needing some serious editing out of the visual story for sure to be able to air.  Unless Syfy leaves the flying blood in.  I could see the language possibly being left in.  They've left the langauge in Continuum, though to be honest, there's a bit more language in Spartacus, by "Jupiter's c*!" (It's a favorite vulgar reference for sure in that show.)

But if the editing is done right, you'll find yourself rooting for and feeling sorry for what the slaves have to endure or what the slave masters find themselves forced to do.

It truly is a fascinating story.


You will have to be ready for the slight distraction of Andy Whitfield, who plays Spartacus in the first season, being replaced by Liam McIntyre for the subsequent seasons.  It was a good stand in casting, so it shouldn't be too distracting.

But it is sad.

Andy was diagnosed with cancer as season 1 came to a close, and while he was figthing the battle of his life, Starz went ahead and created a 6-episode prequel to kill some time and not let the show languish, all while they tried to give him time to beat it.  But alas, he sadly lost his battle with cancer, and Liam was cast in the role.

There are other change ups in cast, but that's from agents or actors pushing for more money or what not, and they were dealt with accordingly... be getting their characters recast.

Hey, even Jamie Murray (Warehouse 13) shows up in the series.

To be honest, I look forward to seeing how Syfy handles the series.  But let it be known, if you don't have issues with the over-the-top blood splattering gore, you will find yourself immersed in a top-notch quality series on Syfy.


press release bits:

Spartacus will make its basic cable premiere on Thursday, June 26 at 10PM (ET/PT), rounding out the channel’s potent primetime lineup of original series Defiance at 8PM and Dominion at 9PM.

Spartacus joins Syfy’s stable of acquisitions including Lost Girl, Bitten, Continuum and the upcoming The Almighty Johnsons (July), Z-Nation (Fall) and Olympus (2015).

About Spartacus
Spartacus was inspired by the actual slave of the Roman Republic who, in 73 BC, led a slave revolt that grew to more than 120,000 fighters. Defying the Roman Republic’s legions of soldiers, they campaigned for two years through much of what is now Italy before succumbing to a much larger army. The new series told a new set of stories rich in character, action, sex and combat centered on the title character. As punishment for defying a Roman Legate, Spartacus was sentenced to die in the gladiator arena. But after surviving numerous fights, his sentence was commuted and sold as a slave to be trained as a gladiator. Spartacus was executive produced by Rob Tapert (The Grudge, Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), Steven S. DeKnight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and The Evil Dead), and Joshua Donen (The Quick and the Dead).  The lead and title character was originally played by the beloved late Andy Whitfield. Following Whitfield’s departure from the series in 2010, Liam McIntyre was recast as the title character.

Additional cast members included: Lucy Lawless (Xenia: Warrior Princess) as Lucretia, who along with her husband Batiatus (John Hannah), owned the slave Spartacus and the original gladiator camp; Erin Cummings (Dollhouse) as Sura, Spartacus’ wife; Peter Mensah (300, Avatar) as Doctore;  Manu Bennett (30 Days of Night, The Condemned) as Crixus; Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Legend of the Seeker) as Glaber, Ilithyia (Accidents Happen), played by Viva Bianca; Nick E. Tarabay (Crash, The Sopranos) as Ashur,  Dustin Clare (Underbelly, Satisfaction) as Gannicus;  and Todd Lasance as Gaius Julius Caesar.

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