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“Spartacus”: Packs a wallop for Starz

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The show is never going to be Peabody-bait, but any way you slice the numbers, “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” has been a hit for Starz.

The gladiator drama, which wraps its 13-episode frosh season run tonight, has seen its aud double since its January bow. “Spartacus” debuted to 661,000 viewers for the initial Friday 10 p.m. airing; last week’s penultimate seg pulled in 1.28 million viewers.

The cume number for the show’s premiere telecast plus a Friday and Sunday repeat has grown from 1.34 million viewers in its debut to 2.24 million for last week’s seg. The adults 18-49 growth story is also impressive, spiking from 370,000 for the premiere telecast at the outset to 725,000 for last week’s seg. The 18-49 cume for last week’s reached 1.23 million. That’s a pretty good number for Starz’ subscriber base of about 17 million homes.

“Spartacus” has far outstripped the viewership of Starz’ first original drama series, “Crash,” which probably explains Starz chief Chris Albrecht’s interest in costume dramas and period fare right now. “Spartacus” was renewed for season two even before it preemed and even before Albrecht settled in to the job of CEO.

— Cynthia Littleton

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