11:39am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Starz Sets Premiere Date for Final Season of 'Spartacus'
Starz will begin to say farewell to Spartacus in January.
The cable network on Tuesday announced that the final season of Spartacus -- subtitled War of the Damned -- will return on Friday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m.
Spartacus stands as the first original scripted drama the network developed in-house and has proved to be a valuable property for Starz, with its most recent season -- Spartacus Vengeance -- averaging more than 6 million viewers each week. In addition, the period drama that featured the shocking deaths of six major characters including Lucy Lawless' Lucretia in its season two finale.
War of the Damned takes place following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber, with Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) and his men, high on a string of key victories against the Romans, helping cement his legends and increase the ranks of the rebellion slaves to more than 30,000.
"We've always had an ending -- it's written in history -- so we knew where we were shooting for," showrunner Steven S. DeKnight told The Hollywood Reporter in June. "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 (Simon Merrells). 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."
Check out a Spartacus refresher -- titled "Strategy of War" -- below.