No more swords, sandals and sexytimes for Starz -- historical drama "Spartacus" will come to an end after its third season in January 2013.
According to Variety, the ten-episode upcoming arc, entitled "Spartacus: War of the Damned," will serve as a send-off for what's been by far Starz's most successful original series. Creator Steven S. DeKnight is quoted as saying that the decision came about because 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."
After having gotten off to a lurid and not terribly compelling start (it looked like a lo-fi "300"), "Spartacus" settled in and proved itself to be surprisingly satisfying trash TV, taking enthusiastic advantage of all of the bloodshed and sexual explicitness premium cable allows. The series faced a tragedy between seasons one and two, with star Andy Whitfield getting diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Starz created prequel mini-series "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" in the meantime, but when Whitfield ended up passing away at age 39, the network decided to go on with the show with Liam McIntyre taking over the lead role -- the final season is currently shooting in New Zealand.
DeKnight and McIntyre appeared in conversation with original screen Spartacus Kirk Douglas last week at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Goldenson Theater, where they celebrated the series and the launch of Douglas' book "I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist."
Starz will begin re-airing all 29 episodes of "Spartacus" in chronological order Friday nights at 9pm this summer, starting this week on June 8th with “Gods of the Arena,” then “Blood and Sand,” and ending with “Vengeance" in August.