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U.K.’s Bravo takes ‘Spartacus’

Roman series to be channel's summer tentpole

LONDON — British pay channel Bravo, part of Virgin Media TV, has picked up the rights to the first two seasons of Starz’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”

The show, which debuted in January in the U.S., is a spicy tale of a Roman slave revolt of the first century, with gory battles and steamy bedroom scenes.

Exec produced by Sam Raimi and starring Scottish actor John Hannah (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”), the drama has attracted controversy for its full frontal nudity and graphic violence.

Filmed in New Zealand and also starring Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”), the risque treatment is likely to be a hit with Bravo’s mostly male audience. The channel has also acquired VOD rights.