- Associated Press - Friday, January 7, 2011

PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - A producer for Starz’s “Spartacus” series says fans who enjoy the show’s graphic blood and guts won’t be disappointed when it returns.

Producer Steven DeKnight said Friday that “there are some deaths that are so incredible you just have to rewind and watch again because you can’t believe what you just saw.”

“Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” debuts on Jan. 21. It is designed as a six-episode “prequel” to the show’s first season, in part to write around the inability of actor Andy Whitfield to perform.

Whitfield, who played Spartacus, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and cannot return. Starz says his character would be recast.

Starz says the gladiator series will move forward filming another season, although it hasn’t been determined when that would air.

The series attracted attention when it debuted last year for its graphic scenes of violence and sexuality.

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