‘Spartacus’ preem up vs. last season

But Starz universe much greater due to Dish promotion

“Spartacus:” Vengeance” drew 1.3 million viewers for its initial telecast Friday and 2.7 million combined from four showings over the weekend.

The two Friday telecasts were a 10% bump over last year’s opening-night premiere of prequel “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.”

However, last February Starz was offered for free to Dish TV customers and approximately 9 million potential viewers were added to the Starz universe. That one-year promotion is set to end in a few weeks, so expect to see the “Spartacus: Vengeance” numbers drop considerably when those viewers don’t have Starz available anymore.

In fact, because of those additional 9 million viewers who were able to watch “Vengeance” this past weekend due to the promotion, the ratings for “Vengeance” were actually lower than “Gods of the Arena,” despite more total viewers.

Starz will offer 10 episodes of “Vengeance,” down from the 13 episodes of the first season.

After the death of star Andy Whitfield due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the lead character was recast with Aussie thesp Liam McIntyre. He co-stars with Lucy Lawless and Peter Mensah.

Skein, which is produced by the pay cabler, was created by Steven S. DeKnight.