January 26, 2010 at 02:40 PM EST

Starz’s new original series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, pulled the pay cable network’s best numbers ever for its Friday premiere, garnering 553,000 viewers (and another 460,000 on sister net Encore), according to The Hollywood Reporter. By comparison, Starz’s first foray into original series, Crash, debuted to only 185,000 last season.

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