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Syfy Lands Cable Rights to a Swords and Sandals Series TVWeek

Syfy continues to expand its lineup of diverse programming, securing basic cable rights to all 39 epiosodes of the Stars swords and sandals series "Spartacus," the company announced today.

The show is set to make its basic cable premiere Thursday, June 26, joining "Defiance" and "Dominion" on that night's Syfy lineup.

The cable channel has also acquired "Lost Girl," "Bitten," "Continuum" and the upcoming "The Almighty Johnsons" ( set to debut in July), "Z-Nation" (Fall) and "Olympus" (2015).

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

In its announcement, Syfy says of "Spartacus" that it 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 [he was] sold as a slave to be trained as a gladiator."

The lead character was originally played by Andy Whitfield, with Liam McIntyre moving into the role after Whitfield's departure in 2010.

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