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‘Spartacus': Blood, Sand — and Big Ratings

The Starz soap ends its first season tonight, wrapping a successful three-month run

 I am not Spartacus. But I am pretty sure "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" has emerged as one of the season’s most unexpected hits.

The sexy Starz soap has sizzled since its January debut, adding viewers and buzz over the course of its 13-week run. (The finale airs tonight).

Just yesterday, MTV-owned Logo nominated the series in the best new indulgence of its New Now Next Awards (it’s competing against "Jersey Shore" and "Hoarders"). And last week, Vulture reported that Starz is mulling a "S: B & S" prequel series to feed the hunger for the show while star Andy Whitfield fights cancer.

But the ratings are what really stand out.

Even though Starz can be seen in just 17 million homes, the series’ most recent episode reached just under 1.3 million homes. What’s most impressive is that the show has doubled its audience from its premiere — something that rarely happens in cable, where so much money is spent getting viewers to check out a premiere.

And then there’s so-called multiplay viewing. Remember that Starz also has multiple digital channels, such as Starz Edge and Starz Black, and airs episodes several times over the course of a weekend. Add all that up, and Starz estimates more than 5 million people watch the show on a regular basis.

No surprise, then, that Starz has already ordered a second season of "Spartacus." And at MIP this week, Starz chief Chris Albrecht — who arrived after the show was ordered to series — announced he was developing more cinematic dramas, including "William the Conquerer."

His plan: One hour of first-run fare on Starz each week, year-round.

We’re still waiting for someone to announce "Clash of the Titans: The Series." You know you want to see the Kraken unleashed on a weekly basis.