The action-adventure drama series Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the latest to be added to the Starz line-up of original programming. Premiering on January 22, 2010, the highly anticipated epic story that promises to be brutal, bloody and sexy, is being brought to life by executive producers Steven S. DeKnight, who is also the series' head writer, Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi.

Lucy Lawless, best known for her role in Xena: Warrior Princess, portrays Lucretia, who along with her husband, Batiatus (The Mummy's John Hannah), own the Ludus gladiator camp, as well as Spartacus (Australian actor Andy Whitfield). The couple has fallen on hard times financially and has bought Spartacus hoping his fighting prowess will help them regain their status in the brutal world of gladiatorial contests.

Spartacus is a soldier in the Roman Auxiliary who has been taken prisoner and, as punishment for defying a Roman Legate, he has been sentenced to die in the gladiator area. But after surviving numerous fights, his sentence is commuted and he has been sold as a slave to be trained as a gladiator.

Actors Lucy Lawless and Peter Mensah, who plays Batiatus' most loyal and trusted slave Doctore, joined DeKnight, Tapert and Raimi at the Television Critics Association Press Tour to discuss this entirely new vision of the ancient legend.

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