The weekly, 60-minute Blade: The Series was inspired by the popular Blade action-movie trilogy, which in turn was based on a Marvel Comics character introduced in the 1970s. Rap star Sticky Fingaz, billed under his (sort of) real name, Kirk "Sticky" Jones, starred as Blade, a half-human, half-vampire immortal warrior engaged in an endless battle against demonic and supernatural villains on behalf of humanity (Wesley Snipes was, of course, seen as Blade in the original films). Neil Jackson co-starred as Blade's perennial nemesis, Marcus Van Sciver, a handsome, charismatic vampire bent on world domination, while Nelson Lee was seen as Blade's weapons-savvy, wise-ass sidekick, Shen. New to the franchise was the character of Krista Starr (Jill Wagner), who teamed up with Blade to avenge her twin brother's death at the hands of Marcus Van Sciver, who in addition to his nocturnal bloodsucking also held court over a well-organized cartel of fellow vampires. Boasting a pilot scripted by executive producer David S. Goyer and comic-book veteran Geoff Johns, Blade: The Series premiered June 28, 2006, as the first scripted live-action series on cable's Spike TV channel.