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In Memory of Andy Whitfield


        5 August 2009

New Starz Show 'Spartacus' Faces Quite A Battle

New Starz show 'Spartacus' faces quite a battle
The Kansas City Star

Editor's note: TV critic Aaron Barnhart is in Pasadena, Calif., for the annual Television Critics Association fall tour.

When the cast of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" took their seats on stage, the press in the hotel ballroom were as silent as a hapless gladiator whose head has just been separated from his shoulders.

It was a stark contrast to the bloodthirsty screams that greeted Lucy Lawless -- the once and forever "Xena: Warrior Princess" -- just a few days earlier at the fan-tastic Comic-Con International in San Diego. There, the onetime quiver-wielding, leather-skirt- wearing syndicated TV star and lesbian icon was greeted as a conquering heroine.

Here, not so much. Journalistic protocol at the twice-yearly TV critics' tours obliges us to keep our game faces on.

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