Even though the show just wasn’t the same without Andy Whitfield as Spartacus (although he did make a small cameo) that didn’t stop Spartacus: Gods of the Arena from debuting to impressive numbers last Friday night on Starz. The premiere episode of SGOTA had over 1.1 million viewers for its first run at 10 PM, 66% higher than the original series’ premiere a year ago.
In addition, the show had 1.9 million viewers combined for the 10 PM and 11 PM showings, 77% above the debut of the original series. Yes, that’s a lot of people indeed.
I’m guessing audiences were probably just hungry for more awesome gladiator action and to learn the story of the rise of the House of Batiatus. Even though, if you’ve seen the original series, you know how it all turns out for many of the characters, it was still fun to watch their first appearances and see how it all comes together.
It was especially interesting to see how Batiatus himself (John Hannah) began as quite a different person and how he will evolve into the evil man he is later in the series. In some ways its too bad this series will only be six episodes.
Although, in the end, that’s probably just enough to get us ready for season two of the original series, which is returning next year with a new actor (Liam McIntyre) taking on the role of Spartacus.