Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ABC Empire Series to air June 28

ABC Empire Series: "The time is 44 B.C. and the Conqueror Julius Caesar (Colm Feore, "Chicago," "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself") returns from triumphs in Spain to a neglected Republic and a corrupt Senate, drunk with power. Though he's hailed as a hero by the masses, the Senate is wary of Caesar's plans that might place him in a position of ultimate power. Brutus (James Frain, USA Network?s "Spartacus," "Arabian Nights") and Cassius (Michael Maloney, Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet," "Painted Lady") attempt to enlist the assistance of Marc Antony (Vincent Regan, "Troy," "Joan of Arc") in overthrowing Caesar, but Antony is loyal to Caesar and refuses. A terrible conflict looms and the fate of an empire will fall to one man ? a gladiator named Tyrannus.

Tyrannus (Jonathan Cake), Caesar's bodyguard and confidant and Rome's finest warrior, is undefeated in the arena and considered a champion among men. A slave since he was a young man, Tyrannus impresses Caesar with his fighting prowess and his popularity, and with his dedication to Rome. Caesar offers him freedom in return for his service and friendship. However the Senate puts up a vicious fight for power and manages to separate Caesar from Tyrannus' protective grasp by sending the gladiator to one last match to the death. Cassius and Brutus have Tyrannus' son, Piso, kidnapped. Tyrannus rushes to his son's rescue and kills his kidnappers only to realize that the abduction is a diversion. He hurries to Caesar's side, but it is too late. His absence results in Brutus successfully leading a group of conspirators in assassinating the great conqueror. As he is drawing his last breath, Caesar swears Tyrannus to an oath to protect his successor, Octavius (Santiago Cabrera), his 18-year-old nephew."
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