Syfy Snags Starz's 'Spartacus'

Syfy has picked up the basic-cable rights to all 39 episodes of Spartacus, Starz's blood-soaked sword-and-sandals epic. It will make its Syfy debut June 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, following original series Defiance and Dominion.

Created by Steven S. DeKnight, Spartacus is inspired by the historical gladiator who from 73 to 71 BCE led a slave uprising against the Roman Republic. The first season, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, premiered in January 2010 but production was delayed on Season 2 because star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leading to the filming of the prequel miniseries Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Whitfield later died, and Liam McIntyre was tapped for the lead role in the second season, Spartacus: Vengeance, and the third and final season, Spartacus: War of the Damned.

Throughout its run, Spartacus never shied away from nudity, harsh language or over-the-top blood and gore, so it should be interesting to see how Syfy will present the series among its otherwise PG and PG-13 programming.

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

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