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Starz's 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' debut draws 3.3 million viewers

UPI News Service, 01/26/2010 

The first episode of the action drama "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" was watched by more than 3.3 million total U.S. viewers, Starz Entertainment said Tuesday.

The 3.3 million figure includes showings Friday night on Starz and Encore, as well as three additional weekend airings on pay cable channels with same-day DVR usage.

Figures from other Starz channels, additional DVR usage, viewership and on-demand/online previews with affiliates are expected to grow that figure well past 4 million total viewers, Starz said.

"This is the most successful premiere in the company's history," Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president of programming for Starz Entertainment, said in a statement. "We are very gratified to see that our excitement and faith in the series -- already renewed for a second season -- has been matched by initial demand."

The show is produced by Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Joshua Donen and Steven S. DeKnight, and stars Andy Whitfield, Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Erin Cummings and Peter Mensah.

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