Today, it was a surprise to hear to that Starz was ending their popular Spartacus TV series after three seasons. IGN has an interview with Spartacus’ executive producer and showrunner, Steven S. DeKnight, as to the reasons behind the decision.
DeKnight said, “Starz always does the unexpected. This show has been challenged, to say the least, in many, many ways. We’ve faced many difficulties and tragedies on the show. My original plan was to attack the show in a five to seven season arc. Once we got into it and after Andy’s passing and looking at the historical story of Spartacus, we came to the decision to basically end on a high note. We certainly could have continued for a few more seasons and stretched it out, but we really wanted to end high and not feel like we were treading water — and really just condense the rest of the history into one amazing ten-episode, badass final season.”
He continued, “You know, the whole show was a huge risk from the start for Starz, and it was another huge risk when I decided to try to keep the show going after Andy’s passing. Any normal studio would have just cancelled the show at that point and not risk the financial downside of it not working. But Starz, thankfully, really stuck by the show, and they really wanted it to be told all the way to the end. They didn’t want to cheat the viewers and just suddenly pull the plug. So they gave us this opportunity to wrap up the story, and we’re certainly taking that opportunity and running with it. This is by far the biggest season we’ve ever attempted.”
When asked if Starz had given them a heads-up, DeKNight noted, “There was a lot of conversation. We knew towards the end of making the last season — we were 90 percent sure that we would be wrapping it up. And then there were a lot of questions and back and forth about do we do ten episodes, do we do 12, do we do 16, do we do 20? Ultimately, when we looked at it from all angles both financially and creatively, we decided, ‘Let’s do ten. Let’s take history, take the best parts of the story and really just try to end this as strong as possible.'”
Season three of Spartacus is expected to start airing in January 2013. You can read the complete interview with DeKnight here.
What do you think? Do you agree to end the TV series after just three seasons or could they have reasonably made a fourth?
Image courtesy Starz.