Gladiator drama tops 1.2 million viewers with finale

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 wrapped its 13-episode frosh season run on Friday with an aud of 1.23 million viewers, according to Nielsen estimates. The show’s aud doubled since its Jan. 22 bow, when 661,000 viewers turned out for the initial Friday 10 p.m. airing. The penultimate seg of “Spartacus” actually topped the finale, with anaverage of 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 the April 9 seg.

The adults 18-49 growth story is also impressive, spiking from 370,000 in its debut to 725,000 for the April 9 episode. The 18-49 cume for the Friday/Sunday airings reached 1.23 million for the April 9 episode. That’s a pretty good number for Starz’ subscriber base of about 17 million homes.

For the season overall, “Spartacus” averaged 960,000 viewers and 534,000 in adults 18-49.

“Spartacus,” exec produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert Joshua Donen and Steven S. DeKnight for Starz Media, was renewed for a soph season even before it premiered (Daily Variety, Dec. 22).

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