BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 4 (UPI) -- U.S. cable network Starz says "War of the Damned," the upcoming third season of "Spartacus," will be the last.
More than 6 million weekly viewers watched last season, "Spartacus: Vengeance," which has amassed more than 2.5 million Facebook fans. The series airs in 150 countries in more than 15 languages.
"The fans have been tremendously supportive of our show," creator and executive producer Steven S. DeKnight said in a statement Monday. "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," said Starz Chief Executive Officer 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" is in production in New Zealand.
The "Spartacus" franchise began its run in 2010 with "Blood and Sand." It was followed a year later with the miniseries prequel, "Gods of the Arena" and "Vengeance" debuted this past January.
"War of the Damned" is scheduled to air in early 2013. It stars Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Dan Feuerriegel, Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Ellen Hollman. Joining the cast will be Todd Lasance as Gaius Julius Caesar, Simon Merrells as Marcus Crassus and Anna Hutchison as Laeta.