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OTRC: 'Spartacus' to end after 3 seasons, Starz confirms

Liam McIntyre appears in a promotional photo for 'Spartacus: Vengeance' in 2011. (Starz)

After a few seasons of swords, sandals and sex, the television series "Spartacus" will come to an end after the finale of its third season.

The news was announced on June 4 by the Starz network, which airs the series known for its sexually explicit and violent content.

"The fans have been tremendously supportive of our show," creator and executive producer, Steven S. DeKnight, said in a statement. "We did not come to this decision lightly. It was an extremely difficult and emotional decision for my partners and I."

"Yet, in the end, the story was best served by rolling all of the remaining action and drama of Spartacus' journey into one stunningly epic season that will be extremely satisfying for everyone who's been along for the ride," he added.

The upcoming season, which premieres in January 2013, will be titled "Spartacus: War of the Damned." The season is currently in production in New Zealand.

"We are in agreement with our partners in the decision to conclude the story after 'War of the Damned,' as we believe it is the best way to maintain the integrity of the series and secure its legacy," Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement. "While everyone may know the fate of Spartacus, we believe this will be a spectacular season that will startle, amaze and honor the legions of fans."

The show seemed to rebound following the death of the show's star Andy Whitfield, who played the titular Spartacus in the first season.

It was announced in September 2010 that Whitfield would leave "Spartacus" to battle a recurrence of cancer. He succumbed to the disease a year later, on Sept. 11, 2011, at age 39.

In January 2011, it was announced that Liam McIntyre would take over the role of the title character.

Check out a sneak peek of the new season of "Spartacus" below.

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