Syfy Acquires Starz's 'Spartacus'


The cable network will begin airing an edited version of the Starz drama June 26.

Syfy is getting into the Spartacus business.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has acquired U.S. basic cable rights to the entire Spartacus franchise, totaling 39 episodes, which originally aired on premium cabler Starz.

Spartacus, which will have to be edited down in order to be viewed on basic cable, will begin its Syfy broadcasts Thursday, June 26, at 10 p.m. Spartacus was rated Mature Audiences Only during its run on Starz for graphic violence, language and sexual content. It will follow Syfy originals Defiance (8 p.m.) and Dominion (9 p.m.).

"Our strategy of acquiring hit shows to complement our premium original scripted series has really resonated with our audience," said Chris Regina, senior vp programming at Syfy. "With its action-soaked storylines and powerful characters, Spartacus will be a dynamic addition to our schedule."

"Spartacus made an indelible impact on Starz premium viewers in the United States and with audiences around the globe,” added Gene George, executive vp worldwide distribution at Starz. “We are very pleased to strike this accord and bring the incredible tale of Spartacus to Syfy.”

News of Spartacus' acquisition comes as Syfy continues its aggressive push into genre and sci-fi programming while revamping its scripted portfolio. Other acquisitions on the network include Lost Girl, Bitten and Continuum, with upcoming series such as zombie drama Z-Nation and Greek mythology series Olympus.

Spartacus originally starred Andy Whitfield before Liam McIntyre took over the title role following Whitfield's death. Steven S. DeKnight created and executive produced the series, which ran for three seasons and a prequel miniseries.

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