Despite the fact that it’s one of the cable channel’s most popular shows, Starz has announced that season three of the Spartacus TV series will be the final one. The show was renewed for a third round of 10 episodes back in November 2011. They’ll start airing in January 2013.
In its first season (Blood and Sand), Spartacus was a big hit for the cable channel. The show’s star, Andy Whitfield, was diagnosed with cancer after the show was renewed for a second season and hope to return to the role. It didn’t happen and he passed away last year. A prequel series filled in between seasons.
Liam McIntyre took over the role of Spartacus starting in season two and the premiere doubled the numbers for the first season opener.
Here’s the press release from Starz with additional details about the final season:
THE SAGA CONCLUDES – STARZ ANNOUNCES THE FINAL SEASON OF “SPARTACUS”
SEASON THREE TITLE UNVEILED “SPARTACUS: WAR OF THE DAMNED” THE EPIC 10-EPISODE SEASON TO PREMIERE JANUARY 2013
Beverly Hills, Calif. – Date June 4, 2012 – STARZ announced today the upcoming season of the international hit series “Spartacus” will be the conclusion of the saga. With a visual style completely unique to television, the franchise has amassed both critical and popular acclaim to become the most successful on the network and one of the highest rated programs in all of cable television. More than six million weekly viewers watched last season, “Spartacus: Vengeance,” which has amassed more than 2.5 million Facebook fans. Globally, the series airs in 150 countries in more than 15 languages.
“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.”
“Steven DeKnight, Rob Tapert, Josh Donen and Sam Raimi have made one of the most groundbreaking shows we have ever seen,” says Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “‘Spartacus’ is a landmark series for the network which has enthralled millions of viewers and fans around the world. We are in agreement with our partners in the decision to conclude the story after ‘War of the Damned,’ as we believe it is the best way to maintain the integrity of the series and secure its legacy. While everyone may know the fate of Spartacus, we believe this will be a spectacular season that will startle, amaze and honor the legions of fans.”
“Spartacus: War of the Damned,” currently in production in New Zealand, takes place following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber. Spartacus and his men have amassed major victories against the Romans after the Battle of Vesuvius. These victories have not only forged the legend of Spartacus, but have greatly increased the ranks of the rebellion slaves to more than 30,000. Rome is indeed beginning to tremble at the threat Spartacus now represents.
The Emmy(R) nominated series, already known for its groundbreaking production and visual style, has set the bar even higher to bring the story to its epic conclusion. This year, new sets will include the construction of a full city, a Roman Villa, and the scene of the epic battle along the Appian Way.
Airing in 150 countries, the series is considered an unqualified smash around the world, including Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and more. The enormous international success has led to global licensing for a variety of rights, including: authentic prop replicas, publishing, soundtracks, motion comic books, trading cards, and a few more major deals soon to be announced.
In the US and abroad, the DVDs continue to be one of the most popular titles sold at all major retailers, appearing in the Top 10 of all TV titles sold.
The “Spartacus” franchise began its run Friday, January 22, 2010 with “Blood and Sand.” It was followed a year later with the prequel, “Gods of the Arena” (January 21, 2011). “Vengeance” hit the air on January 27, 2012 and “War of the Damned” is scheduled to air January 2013.
“Spartacus: War of the Damned” sees the return on Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Dustin Clare (Gannicus), Dan Feuerriegel (Agron), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Naevia) and Ellen Hollman (Saxa). This year, Todd Lasance joins the cast as Gaius Julius Caesar, along with Simon Merrells, who will be playing Marcus Crassus and Anna Hutchison as Laeta.
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) brands with approximately 20.1 million and 33.6 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LMCA).
What do you think? Are you sorry to hear that Spartacus is ending? Do you think that it’s the right decision or should the series continue for a fourth season instead?