Having at last found some breakout success with its original series Spartacus: Blood And Sand And Lesbian Sex Scenes In The Blood And Sand, Starz is said to be looking for ways to expand the franchise, beginning with a six-part prequel due to air next January. The miniseries will focus on Lucy Lawless’ character Lucretia and her husband Batiatus (played by John Hannah), and will tell the story of their rise to power before Spartacus came along. Along with extending the Spartacus run and spreading some ratings around for the network’s surprise hit, the prequel will also give the show’s star, Andy Whitfield, a chance to rest after being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—which has already delayed production on its second season—while keeping its fans satiated with all the gladiator beefcake and butt-naked bacchanals it craves in the meantime.

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