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EMMYS: Ballots Go Out, Race Heats Up As Spartacus Meets Spartacus At TV Academy

Pete Hammond

Emmy voters received official ballots in the mail today with instructions that they must be returned by 5 PM on June 28. However, voting can’t actually take place until ballot listings are posted at a secure Emmy address online after 6 PM Monday, June 11th. With the race for nominations (they will be announced July 19) moving into the home stretch, campaigning is heating up — particularly at the Goldenson Theatre of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, where almost nightly screenings/panels with TV casts and creators are taking place. None are endorsed or sponsored by the Academy itself. Studios and networks rent out the space to give their shows the aura of Emmy but on invitations must specifically stress that it is not an Academy official activity. These events have been happening with regularity since April and May and will continue right up to the close of voting. Among those campaigning in June are CBS’ Blue Bloods (June 5),The Glee Project (June 7), Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey: Under African Skies (June 8), Leverage (June 9) and a Grammys event  (June 11). On June 10th, Matt Weiner will fly back from the southern location of his feature directorial debut to appear with virtually the entire cast of 4-time Emmy-winning drama series Mad Men as they participate in a screening/discussion/reception for the season finale of the show two hours before it airs on AMC.

But none of these are as unique as an event last night at the Academy, … Read More »

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‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ Up In Opener, ‘Kourtney & Kim’ Hits Highs In Finale

Nellie Andreeva

Starz’s Spartacus: Vengeance premiered Friday night to 1.4 million viewers at 10 PM. That was up 10% from last January’s premiere of prequel Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena, which in turn was up 66% from the January 2010 debut of Spartacus: Blood And Sand. Including weekend, on-demand and online viewing, the Spartacus: Vengeance premiere has been seen by more than 4 million viewers. Spartacus – starring Liam McIntyre, who replaced the late Andy Whitfield in the title role — has already been renewed for a third season.

Meanwhile, last night’s Season 4 finale of Kourtney & Kim Take New York, in which Kim Kardashian ponders divorce, scored the series’ highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever, averaging nearly 4.5 million total viewers. It was E!’s third-most-watched telecast in history total viewers and key demos, among adults 18-49 (3.3 million), women 18-34 (1.6 million) and women 18-49 (2.5 million). Read More »

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Starz Stands Behind ‘Boss’, ‘Spartacus’, Touts ‘Magic City’: TCA

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 7:18pm PST

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA

Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said today at TCA the cable channel will support its struggling series Boss during its second season, but acknowledged the show needs to begin to “resonate” with affiliates and subscribers to survive. Starz’ panels today also featured the new series Magic City and the returning Spartacus: Vengeance, both part of Starz’s effort to brand itself as a home for original programming. But those shows took second seat to Boss during Albrecht’s Q&A session. “Our sponsors are thrilled [with Boss],” he said to some laughter. “I have not heard complaints from any of them.” Starz renewed Boss for a second season before the show had even made its Season 1 debut, and Albrecht said the network would make the same decision again. “We are not doing pilots, that’s a different process,” he said. “The way I’m looking at this, Starz is trying to create a brand. We are going to support the show into the second season. It’s the right thing for Starz to do. It’s easy to pull the plug.” Boss stars Kelsey Grammer as the unscrupulous mayor of Chicago hiding debilitating disease. Albrecht said Starz did not renew freshman costume drama Camelot because “there were too many challenges on the production side of the show.”

But on Boss, we looked at the episodes and … Read More »

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TV TRAILER: ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’

By | Wednesday December 21, 2011 @ 11:25am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Starz just released a new trailer for the upcoming second season of Spartacus, titled Spartacus: Vengeance. Like previous trailers, the new one highlights the gore and sexuality that have become the series’ trademark. Is it just me or has new Spartacus star Liam McIntyre been transformed to look just like the late Andy Whitfield? Spartacus: Vengeance premieres January 27.

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Starz Renews ‘Spartacus’ For Third Season

By | Monday November 7, 2011 @ 11:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Just like it did with Spartacus‘ second season, which was ordered before the series had premiered, Starz today renewed the toga-and-sandals drama for a third season ahead of the January 27 debut of Season 2, Spartacus: Vengeance. Production on the yet-untitled third season is slated to begin in New Zealand in early 2012. “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,” said exec producer Rob Tapert. Vengeance marks the debut of Liam McIntyre in the title role of Spartacus, in which he succeeded the late Andy Whitfield.  McIntyre is joined by returning cast members Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, as Crixus, Dustin Clare, Nick E. Tarabay, and Katrina Law. The most recent chapter of Spartacus was the prequel, Gods Of The Arena which ran in January 2011 and averaged an estimated 6.2 million total viewers per episode across all linear channels and on-demand viewing.

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Starz Sets January 27 As Premiere Date For ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’

By | Thursday November 3, 2011 @ 3:38pm PDT

Starz said today that it will air the season premiere of its original series Spartacus: Vengeance on Friday, January 27 at 10 PM. The series continues the storyline begun on Spartacus: Blood And Sand, which debuted in January 2010. That series was a hit but was put on hiatus when star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t continue. During the hiatus, Starz shot and aired the prequel Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena. All three installments were from the same creative team: Rob Tapert, Steven S. DeKnight, Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen. Whitfiield died on September 11, with Liam McIntyre taking over the role of Spartacus.

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