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October 9, 2015


'Spartacus: Vengeance': First Look at the New Season of the Gladiator Drama (VIDEO)

by AOL TV Staff, posted Dec 9th 2011 1:30PM
Starz has released the first few minutes from the first episode of 'Spartacus: Vengeance,' which arrives Jan. 27. The clip is introduced by new 'Spartacus' star Liam McIntyre, who has taken on the lead role in the new season of the gladiator epic.

Who would have predicted that the first scene of the new season of the cult hit would depict the gladiators, who are on the run from the Roman authorities, having a tea party?

Kidding. Of course there's a whole lot of bloodshed in the video. We wouldn't have it any other way, right?

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'Spartacus' Gets a Third Season (Before the Second Even Airs)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 7th 2011 2:45PM
This is the kind of vote of confidence that warms the heart: Starz has given 'Spartacus' a third season before the second season of the show arrives on Jan. 27.

Executives at Starz apparently felt so positively about the second season, 'Spartacus: Vengeance,' and new star Liam McIntyre's performance in the title role that they've told executive producer/creator Steven DeKnight and his writers to get straight to work on Season 3.

"Many surprises are in store for 'Vengeance' viewers this year, but rest assured, the multi-layered plot and richly developed characters will continue to be a trademark of this series," executive producer Rob Tapert said in a statement from the network. "It's incredibly gratifying to see how the story has resonated so well with viewers worldwide."

"The executives at Starz have been extremely supportive in giving us creative freedom and allowing us to tell the story in a rich, yet bold way that leaves an indelible mark on its fans," DeKnight added.

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'Spartacus: Vengeance' Gets a Release Date, Key Art and Trailer

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 3rd 2011 3:30PM
Spartacus: VengeanceFeast your eyes on that blood-spattered chest! 'Spartacus: Vengeance' is almost upon us -- the show debuts Fri., Jan. 27 at 10PM ET -- and Starz is looking to get your blood pumping with a new poster and trailer filled with new footage from the long-awaited return of 'Spartacus.'

'Spartacus: Vengeance' begins just a few weeks after the massacre that ended 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand.' The gladiators are united, albeit shakily, and Spartacus is still on a quest to avenge Sura's death. He'll attempt to build an army, set free the slaves and overcome the Roman Empire. Yep, all in one season!

This season will see Liam McIntyre take over the role of Spartacus from the late Andy Whitfield. Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Nick E. Tarabay, Katrina Law, Craig Parker, Viva Bianca and Cynthia Addai-Robinson also star.

Check out the full poster and a trailer below!

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Starz Pays Tribute to Andy Whitfield With 'Spartacus' Marathon

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 16th 2011 1:15PM
Starz will pay tribute to the late Andy Whitfield by airing a 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' marathon Oct. 2.

The actor passed away Sept. 11 after an 18-month battle with cancer. As Friday's Starz press release noted, the 39-year old actor's "fans, friends, and colleagues alike have compared Whitefield's own persona, to that of the noble, brave, honorable gladiator character he played on screen."

The episodes to be screened starting at 9PM ET Oct. 2 will include the premiere and season finale. The other three episodes were not specified, but they will be "fan favorites" that "showcase his most memorable performances," according to the network.

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Trio of Talking TV Podcasts Take on Fall TV, FX Comedies and 'Boardwalk Empire'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 15th 2011 2:30PM
The fall deluge is upon us, so to handle all the television that's coming at us, Ryan McGee and I cranked out three Talking TV podcasts this week.

Two of them are devoted to new fall programs. In the first one, we talk about new shows that air on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In the second podcast, we talk about new programs that air Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The third podcast has three main sections: The FX comedies 'Archer' and 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (which return Thursday), a discussion of HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' (which begins its second season Sept. 25) and a tribute to 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' actor Andy Whitfield, who passed away on Sunday.

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'Spartacus' Star Andy Whitfield Has Died at 39

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 11th 2011 10:25PM

Andy Whitfield, who played the title role in the first season of Starz's 'Spartacus,' passed away Sunday. The actor was 39.

"No words to express the depth of such a loss," 'Spartacus' creator Steven DeKnight said Sunday evening on Twitter. "You will be deeply missed, my brother."

According to a statement released to the AP by Whitfield's family, he died at home," on a sunny Sydney morning, in the "arms of his loving wife." His wife Vashti called him a "beautiful young warrior."

"He passed peacefully surrounded by love," said the statement from Vashti Whitfield. "Thank you to all his fans whose love and support have help carry him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous and gentle man, father and husband he was."

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'Spartacus' Creator Talks About the 'Epic' New Season and the Trailer for 'Vengeance'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 30th 2011 6:00PM
Starz has finally released the 'Spartacus: Vengeance' trailer that the network showed at Comic-Con, and I've posted it below for your viewing pleasure.

I also interviewed 'Spartacus' executive producer and creator, Steven DeKnight, on Friday, and though I'll post the majority of the interview closer to the show's January premiere, but share some of his responses regarding the epic scope of the new season. First question: Did the show have the resources to properly depict Spartacus' post-ludus life on the run with his fellow escaped slaves?

"We definitely have quite a bit more money than we did in the past seasons and it shows," DeKnight said of the 10-episode season. "I mean, just look at the trailer. That one shot of a mine with a thousand people working in it gives you an idea the scope that we're going for."

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Comic-Con Q&A: 'Spartacus: Vengeance' Cast On Fan Support & Season 2 Drama (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 23rd 2011 11:00AM
Lucy LawlessIt was the usual mayhem at the 'Spartacus' panel at Comic-Con. Fans saw the first footage of Liam McIntyre in the title role, and they certainly seemed to like it.

In one of the few serious moments, McIntyre said he'd spoken to previous star Andy Whitfield, who had to leave the project due to health reasons, and that having Whitfield's blessing "meant a lot to him." (Executive producer Steven DeKnight said Whitfield is doing "very well" with his treatment.)

Otherwise Lucy Lawless talked about the almost-unhinged Lucretia we will see in Season 2 and about Lucretia's very twisted relationship with Ilythia (Viva Bianca). Then Lawless demonstrated her almost unrivaled ability to make almost anything she says sound a little bit naughty. (A fan asked about "filling the void" now that John Hannah's character, Batiatus, is gone. You can imagine where that line of questioning went.)

The only time the cast was tongue-tied was when a fan asked if they were used to seeing each other naked. There was lots of embarrassed giggling, but I gathered that yes, they were used to it.

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EXCLUSIVE: Who's Returning on the Next Season of 'Spartacus'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 4th 2011 1:45PM
'Spartacus' fans, it's Friday but we don't have an episode of the Starz drama to look forward to. Feel free to curse and vent in the celebrated manner of Quintus Batiatus.

But once you're done with that, turn your thoughts to the upcoming second season of the gladiator chronicle.

Wouldn't you like to know which characters from the first season and the recently concluded prequel season will be back?

Read on to find out whether Gannicus, Crixus, Ashur, Ilythia and other characters from 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' and 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' will return when the show comes back early next year.

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Podcast Smorgasbord: 'Chuck' Convention News, Plus 'Raising Hope,' '30 Rock,' 'The Good Wife' and More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 3rd 2011 1:15PM
In this week's 'Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan' podcast, Ryan McGee and I made an effort to mix things up: We talked about a bunch of shows we don't frequently gab about on the podcast.

OK, so 'Spartacus' and 'How I Met Your Mother' are the exceptions in the mix -- those are shows we've talked about a fair amount in the past. But we also discussed what we're liking (or disliking) about '30 Rock,' 'Modern Family,' 'The Good Wife' and 'Raising Hope.' Most (if not all) of those programs are newcomers to the Talking TV podcast.

We kicked things off, however, by talking about a bit of fun news: I'll be moderating a 'Chuck' panel at Chicago's C2D2 convention March 19; it'll feature cast members Josh Gomez, Ryan McPartlin, Scott Krinsky and Vik Sahay, so come on by if you're a Buy More addict in the Chicago area.

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'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' Prequel Season, Episode 6 Recap (Season Finale)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 26th 2011 3:10PM
['Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' - 'The Bitter End']

'Is this not what set tragedy in motion? Arrogance and impatience?" -- Solonius to Batiatus

It's time to say goodbye to the Batiatus ludus for good, and time to say goodbye to several of its inhabitants and enemies.

It's about time we put 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' in the Win column as well. The Starz show's suitably twisted, intrigue-filled season finale was full of surprises, and in some instances, it looks as though justice (or the will of the gods) was served. In other instances, well, just wait. Karma has a way of asserting itself over time, and five years from now, which is when the next season of the show is set, some scores will undoubtedly be settled.

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'Spartacus' Podcast Party: Creator Steven DeKnight Talks 'Gods of the Arena' and What's to Come

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 24th 2011 1:00PM
Here's a question I'm betting you never asked yourself: What's the connection between 'Viva Laughlin' and 'Spartacus'?

Don't laugh, there actually is one. Steven DeKnight, the executive producer and showrunner of Starz's 'Spartacus,' worked on CBS' ill-fated 'Laughlin' during its short-lived debut season, and in the 44-minute Talking TV podcast he recorded with Ryan McGee and myself on Wednesday, DeKnight talked about how he learned as much or more from that high-profile failure as he did from his stints on 'Angel,' 'Buffy' and 'Smallville.'

Of course, the drama we talked about most was 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,' a prequel series that has its season finale Friday and has proved itself a worthy addition to the 'Spartacus' roster of gladiator tales. In fact, as DeKnight noted, some fans were angry about 'Spartacus' making a prequel series at all, but now there are complaints about the fact that the season is ending after only six episodes.

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'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' Prequel Season, Episode 5 Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 18th 2011 11:02PM
['Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' - 'Reckoning']

It makes sense that the fifth episode of this prequel season would be the most compelling one yet. It took four or five episodes for 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' to fully gel, and while 'Gods of the Arena' didn't have the same pacing or tone issues that the first season did when it began, 'Blood and Sand' still needed time to build up the stakes for the characters.

The stakes were high in the melancholy, wonderfully crafted 'Reckoning,' and many characters were forced to make difficult, if not tragic, choices.

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'Spartacus' Party: Peter Mensah on Doctore's Journey and the Show's Creator on Joss Whedon's Influence

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 18th 2011 1:15PM
When Peter Mensah runs into 'Spartacus' fans, they're enthusiastic, but they're also very polite.

Mensah plays Doctore, a fearsome warrior in charge of instructing the House of Batiatus's unruly tribe of gladiators. The actor's presence in the role is so commanding that, in a December encounter, two Canadian fans made sure to call him "Mr. Mensah."

"People are actually very respectful," Mensah said with a laugh in a recent interview in Los Angeles. "Somehow along the way, this disciplinarian character who is actually quite warm became popular."

Mensah said he was pleased his character had a chance to reveal a more tender side in the prequel season 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,' which shows Doctore as a married man five years before the events of 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand.'

"It was nice to be able to play a character who had some warmth, even under those circumstances," Mensah said. "It's something that tends to be rare on our show, so it was nice to have that -- a husband and wife."

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Britt Robertson Joins 'Secret Circle,' Aaron Ashmore Boards 'Warehouse 13' and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Feb 17th 2011 6:00PM
Britt Robertson'Life Unexpected' star Britt Robertson is staying in The CW family as a lead on the network's new pilot, 'Secret Circle.'

According to Entertainment Weekly, Robertson's casting in the drama series is in second position, behind 'Life Unexpected,' though it's not specified what part she'll play. The CW has not officially made a final decision on the fate of 'Life Unexpected,' but with a "complete series" DVD set being released soon, all signs point to its cancellation.

'Secret Circle' is based on L.J. Smith's novels about a young woman who moves to a new town and finds out she's a witch. Not only is she a witch, but she's part of a secret coven and is the key to the battle between good and evil.

In other casting news ...

Aaron Ashmore has joined the cast of 'Warehouse 13.' The 'Smallville' actor will play Steve Jinks, a new ATF agent who can tell when people are lying. Ashmore will be a series regular. [EW]

Christina Applegate on 'The Office'? If she gets her way! 'The Office' star Jenna Fischer and Applegate are cooking up plots to get Applegate on the hit NBC series. [E! Online]

Rachael Harris has joined Mike O'Malley in 'Family Album.' Harris will play wife to O'Malley's Dave. The series follows a family on their vacation. [Deadline Hollywood]

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