Proclaimed the “Champion of Capua,” Spartacus is now taking on the rest of the world, with Starz Entertainment’s original series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” set to debut in high-profile markets around the world. Starz Worldwide Distribution, the sales unit of the premium entertainment company, is finalizing additional markets at the 2010 MIP-TV market (Starz is based at stand RSV-25 at MIP-TV).
“Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” a ratings over-achiever on Starz in the U.S., the Movie Network and Movie Central in Canada and RTL5 in the Netherlands since it premiered earlier this year, the 13-episode program has just launched or is launching soon on:
Bravo TV in the UK, premiering May 25;
LAPTV’s MovieCity Pack in Latin America;
OCN in South Korea, where it premiered April 9;
HBO Central Europe in 14 territories across the region;
And on Star Channel in Japan.
Additional distribution deals are near completion in the remaining major European markets including Spain, Germany, France and Italy.
“We knew from the enthusiastic response that greeted the sneak screening of ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand,’ for buyers only at MIPCOM this past October, that we had a winner on our hands. This is a bold series that appeals to an international audience, and that has been confirmed by the territories that have picked up the show so quickly,” said Starz Media EVP, Worldwide Distribution, Gene George. “With the stellar launches we have already had, we are looking forward to locking in more broadcast partners to the dramatic and artistic experience of ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ during the upcoming MIP-TV market.”
Betrayed by the Romans. Forced into slavery. Reborn as a Gladiator. The classic tale of the Republic’s most infamous rebel comes alive in the graphic and visceral series, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.” Torn from his homeland and the woman he loves, Spartacus is condemned to the brutal world of the arena where blood and death are primetime entertainment. But not all battles are fought upon the sands. Treachery, corruption, and the allure of sensual pleasures will constantly test Spartacus. To survive, he must become more than a man. More than a gladiator. He must become a legend.
Spartacus (Andy Whitfield), a Thracian warrior captured by Romans, is enslaved into a gladiator training school owned by Batiatus (John Hannah) and his wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless). He is forced to fight daily for his life against deadly foes, under the brutal whip of trainer Doctore (Peter Mensah). Against all odds, Spartacus’ rebellious instincts, his intense love for his wife Sura (Erin Cummings) and his powerful fighting skills drive him to win a series of near-impossible battles.
“Spartacus: Blood and Sand” has shown consistent ratings growth since debuting Jan. 22 in the U.S. The 10th episode was the No. 1 show in all of cable TV in the U.S. for March 26, a title the series has held for numerous episode premieres this season. Each of the first 10 episodes, up through March 26, ranked No. 1 among all premium programming on the Friday it first aired.*
*Source: Nielsen NPower based on HH Coverage Ratings.