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Spartacus to end after third season, War of the Damned

Spartacus: Blood And Sand

Story by Jack Foley

BLOOD and sex saga Spartacus is being brought to an end by Starz after its upcoming third season.

Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight confirmed in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that the time was right to bring the series to its conclusion.

The Spartacus series marked the first original scripted drama the network had developed in-house and helped to put the premium cable network on the map.

What’s more, the series have grown in popularity with the most recent series, Spartacus Vengeance, starring Liam McIntyre, averaging more than 6 million viewers each week in the US. It also airs in more than 150 countries world-wide.

Explaining the decision to wind things up while still clearly on top, DeKnight told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a bold move, and we talked about it with Starz. How long do you run a show? Do you run it until you can squeeze every last bit of revenue out of it, or do you end it on a high note?

“That was part of the decision to wrap up the show: The idea of ending the show when you’re on top and the audience still wants more instead of dragging it out until it starts to wane and you kind of limp to the finish line.

“I’ve always thought that five seasons was the perfect number; you’ve got enough time to tell a great story, but there’s not so much real estate that you start to get a little flabby in the middle. This is ending a season early.”

DeKnight also confirmed that the foundations for bringing things to a close had been laid during the final bloody moments of Vengeance, which included the surprise deaths of six major characters, including Lucy Lawless’ Lucretia.

The final season will therefore be called War of the Damned and will comprise 10-episodes. It will kick off in January.

Production is currently underway in New Zealand, with DeKnight admitting that he has already having penned the series finale.

He also refused to rule out the possibility of spin-offs, given that Season 3 will introduce a host of new characters including, most notably, Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus. What price a Caesar spin-off?

“You never know. In the halls of Starz, we often whisper about a spinoff. We’ve set up a world that is just perfect to spin off into other areas during this time period,” he added.

Next story: Game of Thrones: Season 3 new characters revealed