Starz to move forward with ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’

Spartacus-poster Starz prexy/CEO Chris Albrecht confirmed Friday that the pay cabler would move forward with a second season of 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' despite the departure of star Andy Whitfield.

Whitfield, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma last year, was forced to exit the show because of his illness. Producers are now looking to find a new thesp to fill his sandals as the title character.

In the meantime, Starz's prequel "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" is still set to launch on Jan. 21.

"We’ll never be able to replace Andy Whitfield,” Albrecht told reporters at Starz's portion of the TV Critics Assn. press tour. But, he added, the network was "confident where we are in the casting process."

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