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Starz Heads To Ancient Rome For New Series

Starz gave a green light to produce 13 episodes of a new stylized drama series, Spartacus. The hour-long drama will be set during the Roman Empire and will focus on the world of gladiators. Spartacus will utilize virtual environments, giving the series a graphic-novel look and feel.

“When Spartacus debuts in the summer of 2009, it will give our subscribers a show unlike anything currently on TV: a fresh, high-energy action series with nothing held back,” said Stephan Shelanski, executive VP of entertainment for Starz, announcing the pickup. “We think it will be the destination show for next summer. It, along with our other original productions underscores our commitment to being a new kind of TV company, programming the biggest movies and the best new television series.”

Stephen DeKnight has been tapped as showrunner, with horror and sci fi veteran Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Joshua Donen serving as executive producers.

Spartacus will begin production in early 2009 for a summer premiere