Spartacus is an American television series produced in New Zealand that premiered on Starz on January 22, 2010, and concluded on April 12, 2013. The series was inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus, a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BCE led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic departing from Capua. Executive producers Steven S. DeKnight and Robert Tapert focused on structuring the events of Spartacus’ obscure early life leading up to the beginning of historical records. The show has been rated TV-MA for graphic violence, strong sexual content, and coarse language.
After the completion of the first season titled Spartacus: Blood and Sand, production for another season was delayed because lead actor Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with early-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma so Starz produced a six-episode prequel mini-series entitled Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. When the actor’s cancer recurred and he later died on September 11, 2011, Starz had actor Liam McIntyre take on the role of Spartacus in the second season titled Spartacus: Vengeance. On June 4, 2012, Starz announced the third and final season, titled Spartacus: War of the Damned.