Starz series delayed due to Andy Whitfield's health

Star Andy Whitfield’s health has forced Starz to postpone production on the second season of “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”

Whitfield, who plays the lead in “Spartacus,” has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Thesp will begin treatment immediately in New Zealand.

The second season was scheduled to begin shooting shortly in New Zealand, but has been postponed to accommodate Whitfield’s treatment.

According to Starz, Whitfield discovered the cancer during a routine checkup as he prepped for the sophomore season. The condition is treatable and was detected early, the cabler said.

“I’m receiving excellent care, and am feeling strong, positive and determined with an army of support behind me,” Whitfield said.

Starz prexy/CEO Chris Albrecht said the thesp’s “health, of course, is our primary concern. He has our complete support during this difficult time.”

Situation is similar to one faced by A&E soon after it picked up the drama “The Beast.” In that case, star Patrick Swayze contracted cancer and eventually moved ahead with shooting (but passed away after the show’s sole season).

“Spartacus: Blood and Sand” airs its season one finale on Friday, April 16th.

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