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‘Spartacus’ to end next season on Starz

By Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — The flesh to loincloth ratio (not to mention the sex to violence ratio) is about to diminish significantly on Starz: The historical period drama “Spartacus” will come to an end next season.

The series that helped put the premium cable channel on people’s radar will see the last of its fictional battles unfold in its third season, “Spartacus: War of the Damned.”

“The fans have been tremendously supportive of our show,” says creator and executive producer Steven S. DeKnight. “We did not come to this decision lightly. It was an extremely difficult and emotional decision for my partners and I. Yet, in the end, the story was best served by rolling all of the remaining action and drama of Spartacus’ journey into one stunningly epic season that will be extremely satisfying for everyone who’s been along for the ride.”

Its most recent season, “Spartacus Vengeance,” averaged more than 6 million viewers each week, according to the network. The series, which airs in 150 countries in more than 15 languages, has had to face its own set of battles since its debut two years ago. Its star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after the first season, putting a second season on pause. Instead, a prequel, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” aired sans Whitfield. The role of the Roman gladiator eventually was turned over to Liam McIntyre for the show’s second season, following Whitfield’s death last year.

“Spartacus: War of the Damned” is currently in production in New Zealand. The 10-episode season is scheduled to air in January.

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