UPDATED: Starz is going ahead with what will be the second season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Though not unexpected, Chris Albercht, president and CEO of Starz confirmed the news at the Television Critics Association press tour here.
Starz had intended to do a second [chronological] season of the sword and sandal epic. A prequel, Gods of the Arena, bows Jan. 21 at 10 p.m. But lead actor Andy Whitfield’s diagnosis last year with non-Hodgkin lymphoma delayed production of the second season as casting directors set about looking for a new actor to play Spartacus.
The second season is likely to go into production this spring but is not expected to bow until 2012.
Actors reported to be in the running for the lead include Stephen Amell, Aiden Turner and Liam McIntyre.
Albrecht said the casting process is nearing its conclusion though he declined to offer any news.
“We’re very confident about where we are in the casting process of finding a lead actor to step into Spartacus’ sandals,” said Albrecht, “though we’ll never be able to replace Andy Whitfield.”