While not a huge surprise given the first season and the successful prequel, this renewal comes well ahead of the second season premiere that will feature Liam McIntyre in the title role.
via press release:
GLADIATORS RETURN TO STARZ IN 2012
“SPARTACUS” RENEWED FOR SEASON THREE
Green Light Comes Months Ahead of “Spartacus: Vengeance” Premiere
Beverly Hills, Calif. – November 7, 2011 – The most celebrated STARZ Originals franchise, “Spartacus,” will continue to wow audiences worldwide with a renewal secured for a thrilling and bloody third season. The green light comes well in advance of “Spartacus: Vengeance,” which will debut exclusively on STARZ – Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10PM ET/PT.
As yet untitled, production on the third season of “Spartacus” is expected to begin in New Zealand in early 2012.
Starz Media Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik commented, “There is no denying the impact ‘Spartacus’ has had in the marketplace with fans across the globe thirsting for the continuation of the epic tale. ‘Vengeance’ brings unparalleled action and drama to STARZ viewers in January. We are thrilled to come to an early agreement that allows the writers and talent to get right back to work in preparing for season three.”
“Many surprises are in store for ‘Vengeance’ viewers this year, but rest assured the multi-layered plot and richly developed characters will continue to be a trademark of this series,” said Rob Tapert, executive producer. “It’s incredibly gratifying to see how the story has resonated so well with viewers worldwide.”
“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 most recent chapter of “Spartacus” was the prequel, “Gods of the Arena,” which ran in January 2011 and averaged an estimated 6.2 million total viewers per episode across all linear channels and on-demand viewing.
Australian actor Liam McIntyre (Ektopos, Radev, “Neighbours,” “The Pacific”) assumes the title role of Spartacus in “Vengeance.” McIntyre is joined by returning favorites: Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Battlestar Galactica”) as Lucretia; Peter Mensah (Avatar, 300, The Incredible Hulk) as Oenomaus – once known as Doctore; Manu Bennett (The Marine, 30 Days of Night), as Crixus; Dustin Clare (“Underbelly,” “Satisfaction”) as Gannicus; Nick E. Tarabay (“Crash,” “CSI: Miami”) as Ashur; and Katrina Law (“Third Watch”) as Mira.
Season two also brings the return of “Blood and Sand” cast members, Craig Parker (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Gaius Claudius Glaber, the Roman commander who condemned Spartacus to slavery, and his alluring and cunning wife Ilithyia played by Viva Bianca (Accidents Happen) . Actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson (“Dirt”) joins the series as Naevia, the former body slave to Lucretia who was banished from the Ludus for engaging in a love affair with Crixus.
Premiering exclusively on STARZ, “Spartacus: Vengeance” is produced by executive producers Rob Tapert (The Grudge, “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”), Steven S. DeKnight (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man and The Evil Dead), and Joshua Donen (The Quick and the Dead). “Spartacus” is distributed internationally by Starz Media Worldwide Distribution.
About Starz Media
Starz Media, LLC, is a programming production and distribution company operating worldwide. It includes the Anchor Bay Entertainment, Anchor Bay Films, Film Roman and Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action programming and programming created under contract for other media companies. It distributes that content, and programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers, broadcasters, ad-supported and premium television channels, and Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally. Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 16 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 19 million and 32.9 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).