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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Katrina Law as Mira; Liam McIntyre as Spartacus; Peter Mensah as Oenomaus and Manu Bennett as Crixus in "“Spartacus: Vengeance." Courtesy Starz
This weekend on Utah TV: It's the beginning of the end for "Spartacus"

It was sort of a surprise when Starz announced that the upcoming season of Spartacus (Friday, 10 p.m., Star) would be the last - but it wasn't an unpleasant surprise.

Far too often, shows drag on too long. And in the case of "Spartacus," we all know how this is going to end, so extending it doesn't make much sense. One more season does make sense.

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If you don't know how it ends, I won't tell you here. But, geez, you don't know how it ends?

Friday on TV ...

Shakespeare Uncovered (8 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): Ethan Hawke investigates the true story behind "Macbeth's" murderous Thane of Cowdor.

NBA (8:30 p.m., ROOT): Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers

Saturday on TV ...

U.S. Figure Skating championships: Pairs free and dance free skate (1 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5); ladies short program and free skate (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5)

Men's college basketball: Louisiana Tech at Utah State (7 p.m., KMYU); BYU at Portland (8:30 p.m., ESPNU)

Ripper Street (7 and 10 p.m., BBC America): A toy maker is beaten to death.

Women's college gymnastics (7 p.m., BYUtv): Boise State at BYU

An Idiot Abroad 3 (7 p.m., Science Channel): Karl Pilkington and Warwick Davis experience laughing yoga and get parts in a Bollywood film.

NBA (7:30 p.m., NBATV and ROOT): Indiana Pacers at Utah Jazz

The New Normal (10 p.m., Ch. 30): Turns out that nobody's gaydar is functioning particularly well.

Saturday Night Live (10:30 p.m., Ch. 30): Adam Levine hosts; Kendrick Lamar performs.

Sunday on TV ...

U.S. Figure Skating championships: Men's free skate (1 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5); ladies short program and free skate (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5)

NFL Pro Bowl (5 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Meaningless all-star game.

60 Minutes (6 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are interviewed together.

The Simpsons (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Homer and Marge try to decide who will get custody of the kids if something happens to them.

Men's college basketball (7 p.m., P12N): Stanford at Utah

The Good Wife (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Alicia is presented with a risky, career-changing offer.

The Makeover (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): In this Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion," a consultant transforms a beer vendor into a congressional candidate.

Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (8 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): The Crawleys face even more trials.

The Mentalist (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): A 25-year-old cold case has ties to Red John.

Girls (10 p.m., HBO): Hannah makes friends with a junkie.

Shameless (10 p.m., Showtime): The family learns there's a sex offender in their neighborhood.

Enlightened (10:30 p.m., HBO): Levi escapes for a night of debauchery.

House of Lies (11 p.m., Showtime): Marty and Clyde woo a Las Vegas casino mogul.

Californication (11:30 p.m., Showtime): Karen discovers Hank in a compromising position.

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