News Briefs: Spartacus Is Headed to Syfy (Presumably Without the Dongs)
BLOOD AND VENGEANCE OF THE GODS OF THE DAMNED
... Syfy, home of lost girls, warehouses full of mysterious artifacts, and most importantly, the legendary weather phenomena known as sharknados, will soon welcome mostly naked dudes and their swinging swords (not a euphemism—maybe). The network has acquired the basic cable rights to Starz's hit series Spartacus, which aired on the pay cable network from 2010 to 2013. Syfy will air all 39 episodes of the swords-and-sandals epic, starting Thursday, June 26 at 10pm, following the Season 2 premiers of Defiance and the series premiere of Dominion. I'd guess that each episode will last 10 minutes once all the nudity is edited out. Or maybe Syfy will go the blurry nether regions/black bars route, which seems about as fun as watching scrambled porn in the '90s. One has to wonder how well Spartacus will do on Syfy, since I'm pretty sure the nudity was at least 75 percent of the reason anyone watched the show in the first place. (I'm just kidding. Please stop throwing rocks at me. And keep that sword where I can see it.) [Syfy via press release]
... The female-skewing cable networks held their weekly book club earlier this week, and I can only imagine that one of the perky Type As mentioned an article about supernatural shows and movies being the cool new thing, because only days after Lifetime announced that it's making a sequel to The Omen, WEtv has ordered eight episodes of the scripted series South of Hell, a supernatural thriller about a demon hunter named Maria Abascal. The premiere will be directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, Hemlock Grove). Your move, Hallmark. [WEtv via press release]
... In a shocking turn of events, the Survivor finale was bested on Wednesday by the American Idol finale. Approximately 10.2 million viewers tuned in to find out which singer would go on to not be all that famous, while only 9.5 million people cared to find out whether it was brawn, beauty, or brains that pocketed a million bucks after spending a few weeks on an island. Idol only barely won the 18-to-49 demo, though, earning a 2.6 rating that just edged out Survivor's 2.5. Meanwhile, Modern Family's wedding-centric finale bested both reality series, pulling in 10.23 million viewers and a 3.6 rating. [THR]
... TBS has ordered additional episodes of Deal With It, a hidden-camera reality competition series that features regular Joe the Plumbers playing pranks on their friends with "absolutely no time to prepare" (translation: enough time to sign the contracts that allow them to appear on the show). They have to do everything they're instructed to do via earpiece, and they work their way up a cash and prizes ladder. It's basically like when Ellen makes celebrities do hilariously dumb stuff on her show, but without Ellen, and who wants that? [TBS via press release]
... Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we finally have a trailer for the second season of SundanceTV's critically acclaimed drama Rectify. Just a reminder, the first season is only six episodes long and is available on Netflix, which means there's plenty of time to catch up before the June 19 premiere. [EW]
... FX's newest 10/90 comedy Partners will premiere on Monday, August 4 at 9pm, airing back-to-back episodes five consecutive weeks. The series stars Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as two lawyers from different backgrounds who meet in court during their own personal crises and decide to form a partnership. If you're not familiar with the 10/90 set-up, it's when a network orders an initial run of 10 episodes, and then if those 10 episodes reach a certain ratings threshold, the network orders an additional 90 episodes. And now you know
where babies come from why Anger Management exists. [FX via press release]
... Coming to Lifetime in 2015: a new movie based on the life of Whitney Houston and her tumultuous relationship with Bobby Brown. Angela Bassett is set to direct the project, which is currently titled Whitney Houston because the network used up all its creative juice when it decided to move forward with that sequel to The Omen. [THR]
... Well, that was fast. Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural, Being Human, Lost) has already lined up his first post-Tomorrow People gig, as a lead in A&E's upcoming American adaptation of The Returned. He'll play Jack, the father of two girls, which means he's not playing one of the people who return from the dead. He is, however, reuniting with Returned adapter Carlton Cuse, who he worked with on Lost. [TV Line]
... HOLY SH*T STOP EVERYTHING. Guest-star extraordinaire Željko Ivanek (Suits, Revolution, Damages, The Americans, all the shows) now has a full-time series regular gig on CBS's new drama Madam Secretary. He guest-starred in the pilot as Russell Jackson, the president's chief of staff, and apparently he'll be sticking around for awhile. Good for you, Željko. Let's all send him some nice wine to celebrate, okay? [Deadline]
... Neil Jackson, who guest-starred in Sleepy Hollow's first season as Abraham "Bram" Von Brunt a.k.a. the Headless Horseman before he lost his head, will reprise the role in the madcap drama's second season. In fact, you can expect to see a lot of him when Ichabod and Abbie and the rest of the Sleepy Hollow crew return in the fall, as his role is said to be "heavily" recurring. Wheeeeeee, is it September yet? [Deadline]
... Calling all Parks and Recreation fans! EW talked to Parks and Recreation executive producer Michael Schur about Season 7, the road to Season 7, possible spin-off ideas, and much, much more. Hit the link to read the interview. [EW]
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