In news that will have even the most hard-hearted doxies, coiners and bludgers weeping into their hankies, it seems the time has come for Artherton to turn off the lights, lock up 72 Leman Street and post the keys back through the letterbox: The BBC has cancelled Ripper Street. (Sob!)
According to Jerome Flynn falling ratings were cited by the BBC axe wielder who cut off the bawdy drama in its prime.
Flynn made the shock announcement during an interview on Simon Lederman’s BBC London show. Appearing on the show to promote Big Band Aid, Flynn stunned both Lederman and fans when he said, “sadly to say, and this might be the first mention of it publicly, but we found out this week that Ripper Street, that the third series of Ripper Street isn’t going [to happen] … We’re all in shock.”
He added, “It was up against I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and that’s been cited as one of the reasons in terms of viewing figures. … We’re all in absolute shock because it is a wonderful job and … it’s kind of unfinished work so we’re all hoping it will turn around. … It’s one of my most favourite jobs.”
Flynn said that the writers had mapped out some great storylines for Series 3. Shame we won’t get to see them.
As reported by MSN UK, a BBC spokeswoman confirmed the news, saying: “We are very proud of Ripper Street which has enjoyed two highly ambitious series on BBC One. However, the second series didn’t bring the audience we hoped and in order to make room for creative renewal and new ideas it won’t be returning.”
So there you have it. Schedule a creative, thought-provoking, tightly written ensemble drama with some of the best actors around up against a bunch of has-beens sitting around scratching their arses and occasionally eating arses, and what happens? More people watch the has-beens than the drama and so the drama is killed off.
That’s the way the TV industry works, kids. If Ripper Street had not been moved from its original Sunday night slot and been scheduled up against a ratings behemoth Series 2 may have attracted more viewers and thus survived. It may not have, of course, but now we’ll never know.