28 January 2013 2:04 PM, PST | EW - Inside TV | See recent EW.com - Inside TV news »

The final season of the sex-and-blood-drenched Starz drama Spartacus returned to a slightly smaller arena of viewers.

The premiere episode of the “War of the Damned” cycle of the show debuted Friday night to 930,000 viewers, a tally that rose to 2.5 million by the end of the weekend. That’s a solid performance, though a tad softer overall vs. previous years. The premiere weekend for the franchise’s Gods of the Arena prequel in 2011 had 2.8 million viewers and last year’s Spartacus: Vengeance had 2.7 million. (You might see stories out there saying Spartacus came back to its “second-highest rating ever.” That »

- James Hibberd

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