Starz continues to prove itself to be a network willing to take chances on projects and talent. Party Down is a fine example of that, as is the Spartacus series. Proving that they also know when they have something really good on their hands, the network announced today that they’ve signed an overall deal with Spartacus Co-creator/Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight.
Even if you don’t have Starz or watch Spartacus, you may be familiar with DeKnight’s work, which includes writing for Smallville, Dollhouse, Angel, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He wrote “Seeing Red,” which is arguably one of Buffy's best episodes. In his recent years, he’s been contributing to Starz’ growing list of worth-watching programming with Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The prequel season Gods of the Arena aired early this year, and coming January 2012 is Spartacus: Vengeance (Season 2-ish). Beyond that, who knows what DeKnight will be doing, but we do know where he’ll be doing it.
Starz posted the announcement today, stating that they’ve signed DeKnight to an “exclusive two-year overall deal.” I hope that will include more Spartacus beyond Vengeance, but if not, at least we know DeKnight will continue to contribute his talent to the network.
Deknight commented on the deal, saying:
“It is a rare, wonderful opportunity to collaborate with an emerging network on forging their identity in scripted programming. I look forward to continuing this incredibly rewarding relationship. I would also like to thank my producing partners on Spartacus, Rob Tapert, Joshua Donen, and Sam Raimi, for placing their trust in an unproven showrunner. Without them and the tireless efforts of my agents Chris Harbert and Tom Young at CAA, none of this phenomenal good fortune would have been possible."
I love that he mentions “forging their identity.” One of the things that makes Starz worth subscribing to is that the network has proven the willingness to take chances with their original programming. It’s been interesting watching the network develop its identity over the years and DeKnight can certainly take his share of the credit for that with what he’s contributed in Spartacus.