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Spike’s scripted miniseries “Tut,” dubbed by the network as its “most ambitious project to date,” opened to 1.7 million viewers on Sunday, according to Nielsen estimates. The viewership total is more than double what Spike averaged in primetime during the previous week (761,000).

The first part of the three-night, six-hour event starring Ben Kingsley also drew more than 900,000 viewers for a pair of encores, bringing its total to about 2.6 million. Demographic data will be released tomorrow by Nielsen.

Review: Tut

Spike’s first scripted series in eight years, “Tut” tells the story of King Tutankhamun’s rise to power and his struggle to lead Egypt to glory, all while his closest advisers, friends and lovers scheme to advance their own nefarious interests. It was shot entirely in Morocco and Canada last fall.

“Tut” is produced for Spike by Muse Entertainment, with Joel S. Rice and Michael Prupas as executive producers from Muse. The project is also executive produced by Greg Gugliotta, Michael Vickerman, Elice Island Entertainment’s Jeremy Elice, Angela Mancuso and director/executive producer David Von Ancken and written by Michael Vickerman, Peter Paide and Bradley Bredeweg. Producers are Irene Litinsky and Guy Louthan, and Vlad Wolynetz is co-executive producer.