Nellie Andreeva

It looks like with Spartacus, Starz not only has a breakout series on its hands but also a solid franchise. On Friday night, the premiere episode of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, a prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand, drew some 1.1 million viewers for its debut 10 PM airing, 66% higher than the original series’ premiere a year ago, and 1.9 million viewers combined for the 10 PM and 11 PM runs, 77% above the debut of the mothership series. However, Gods of the Arena couldn’t break the ratings records set during the first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which is slated to begin production on its long-delayed Season 2 with a new actor, Liam McIntyre, replacing ailing Andy Whitfield.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.