You have to feel for Starz' Spartacus. That series has had awful luck, with lead actor Andy Whitfield was diagnosed and later succumbed to cancer after the first season. The series, which had decent word of mouth, never really seemed to recover, even though it did good ratings.
And now, the end is near. Starz announced today that the final season - subtitled War of the Damned - will premiere on Friday, January 25 at 9 p.m.
The series, which was the first original scripted drama developed in-house by Starz, became a valuable property for the network. The latest season, Spartacus: Vengeance, averaged upwards of 6 million viewers each week. The show has also shown a willingness to kill off anyone, at any time.
"We've always had an ending -- it's written in history -- so we knew where we were shooting for," showrunner Steven S. DeKnight said. "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. We thought, instead of repeating ourselves with one wave of Roman senators after another going after Spartacus, getting defeated, going after Spartacus, getting defeated, why not really condense the story, give the juiciest parts to Marcus Crassus. 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."
The final season will see Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) working to increase the size of the slave rebellion. I am a big fan of historical epics, even fictionalized ones, so it is a shame whenever any goes off TV. You will be missed, Spartacus.