Spartacus: Blood and Sand is a Starz television series that premiered on January 22, 2010. The series focuses on the historical figure of Spartacus (played by Andy Whitfield), a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BC led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Executive producers Steven S. DeKnight and Robert Tapert focused on structuring the events of Spartacus' obscure early life leading to the records of history. The show has been rated TV-MA for graphic violence, strong sexual content, and coarse language. The show was initially renewed for a second season, but production was delayed due to star Whitfield being diagnosed with early-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Due to the delay, Starz announced on May 11, 2010, that it is developing a six-episode prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand.