An array of food, music and historical replicas from ancient Egypt were on display at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood Wednesday for the premiere of miniseries “Tut,” hosted by Spike TV and Vanity Fair.
Ben Kingsley described the special as demonstrating television’s new advantage over film. “I think TV is going to take over from cinema, in terms of great historic epics,” he said. “Television offers an enormous exciting window for large sweeps of history, which you possibly can’t capture in a 90-minute film.”
The network brought on the epic story, which airs in six episodes over three nights, as the cabler’s first scripted series in eight years. “Tut” chronicles the story of Egyptian’s boy-pharaoh, Tutankhamun, as he rises to power and struggles to lead the region with conflicting influences from his closest advisers, family, friends and lovers.
Sharon Levy, executive VP of original series at Spike TV, spoke on the resurgence of scripted content on the network. Her introduction to the final trailer, before the special premieres July 19, earned enthusiastic applause around Chateau Marmont’s pool area.
“We are very excited to get back into the game of scripted television, and I am very proud of the work that all of you have done,” she said.
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The period piece circles around a throne, family, forbidden love and class tensions – themes that have fared well in present-day television.
Avan Jogia, who plays King Tut, explained in his own words the recent fascination for political dramas.
“I think being the leader of something is intriguing because it’s ruled us for a very long time,” he noted. “The search of power has been so instilled in us as a human race.”
The invitation-only cocktail party featured music from DJ Allie Teilz. Other cast members in attendance were Nonso Anozie, Kylie Bunbury, Sybilla Deen, Iddo Goldberg, Alexander Siddig and Peter Gadiot.