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Creator teases one last Epic season to end Spartacus on a final high

Season three of Spartacus is to be the last according to Starz and will be titled Spartacus: War Of The Damned.

The 10-episode series stars Liam McIntyre in the title role of Spartacus, who took over the part after the death of British actor Andy Whitfield in season one who sadly died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  Spartacus was the first original in-house scripted drama for the Starz channel, with season 2; Spartacus: Vengeance averaging of over six million viewers.

Series creator/executive producer Steven S. DeKnight who claims to have already written the finale said: “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.”

DeKnight also told The Hollywood Reporter about the reasons behind ending now: Shocking, isn’t it? It’s a bit unheard of to end a show when it’s doing better than ever. 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. Spartacus is a bit of an unusual duck. We’ve always had an ending — it’s written in history — so we knew where we were shooting for. My original thought was that this show could go five to seven seasons, but we realized the actual history is very scattershot: The rebels went north, south, east, west, then back north, then broke apart, came back together.

Adding “It’s like The Princess Bride: Cut out all the boring bits and just make the best, most rip-roaring-est tale we can to wrap up the series.”

We were 90 percent sure when we were working on the last couple episodes last season that this would probably be the last season. It was one of the factors in the wholesale slaughter at the end of last season. Where the story was going, for instance Lucretia and Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) really didn’t fit in world of Marcus Crassus and Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) in any kind of natural, organic storytelling way. There was a bit of housecleaning at the end of that season to prep for this final season. We were still kicking around, “Do we do two more seasons? Do we do an extended 16-episode run?” Ultimately, a combination of story and production concerns made us decide to do 10 of the strongest episodes that we can.”

Spartacus: War Of The Damned is currently in production in New Zealand and will premiere in January 2013 on Starz in the US. The UK airdate is yet to be announced. Seasons one and two aired on Sky One.

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