Not long after Starz sets the official premiere date for Spartacus: Vengeance comes word that the series will be back for a third (fourth-ish?) season of the excellent gladiator drama series.
Entertainment Weekly posted the news, which currently says little more than that the series will be back for another season beyond the upcoming Vengeance. This will technically mark the series fourth season, if we’re counting the six-episode prequel season Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, which aired earlier this year. Vengeance will pick up after Season 1 (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), which makes it the much anticipated Season 2. The series was shuffled out of order due to health issues of star Andy Whitfield, who unfortunately died of cancer last September. Liam McIntyre is set to take over the title role this January when the series resumes.
This isn’t the first time Starz has recently renewed a show before the new season starts. The pay-cable network gave Boss a second season renewal before it had even aired the series premiere. Given how popular Spartacus is, with Gods of the Arena 6.2 million viewers per episode ( when factoring in all linear channels and on-demand viewing), there’s a good chance Vengeance will post (equally strong, if not better numbers. Between that, and the fact that show runner Steven DeKnight recently signed a 2-year deal with Starz, makes this news less of a surprise (but exciting nonetheless!).
Update: According to Starz, "As yet untitled, production on the third season of ‘Spartacus‘ is expected to begin in New Zealand in early 2012."
“The executives at Starz have been extremely supportive in giving us creative freedom and allowing us to tell the story in a rich, yet bold way that leaves an indelible mark on its fans,” added Steven S. DeKnight, executive producer.
The renewal is official! And it also seems official that Starz is calling the season that follows Vengeance "Season 3" so we'll stick with that, going forward, at least until it gets a fancier title.
Spartacus: Vengeance premieres January 27th on Starz.