Back from extinction

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 by

ITV1 has just announced axed show Primeval has been recommissioned for a further two series.

It’s all thanks to a unique co-production deal with UKTV’s Watch. Here’s the info…

ITV can today announce that hit drama Primeval will return to UK television screens for two new series from 2011, thanks to a ground-breaking deal between ITV, multichannel broadcaster, UKTV, and producers Impossible Pictures.

The new series will be showrun once again by Adrian Hodges and will feature the return of stars from the previous series, including Hannah Spearritt, Andrew Lee Potts and Jason Flemyng, alongside the acclaimed special effects created by the award-winning team at Framestore CFC.

The premieres of Series 4 and series 5 of Primeval will be split between ITV1 and UKTV’s new entertainment pay TV channel, Watch. ITV1 will be the first to broadcast series 4 (in early 2011), while Watch will premiere series 5 later that year. ITV1 will then broadcast season 5.

Impossible Pictures has worked closely with BBC Worldwide to implement a new funding strategy for the series, in which BBC America, which has acquired previous series for broadcast in the US, joins Germany’s Pro7 as a co-production partner for the new episodes.

Tim Haines, Creative Director of Impossible Pictures Ltd, said: “I am thrilled that ITV has agreed to this new deal which will allow Impossible Pictures to produce another 13 episodes of Primeval. The confidence demonstrated in the programme’s continued success here and abroad will help us bring more big screen action and a whole host of new creatures roaring back into people’s living rooms.”

Laura Mackie, Director of ITV Drama Commissioning, said: “We’re delighted to have agreed this new deal with Impossible to return Primeval to ITV1. The innovative nature of this partnership will allow the show to maintain its high production values and deliver the fantastic programme that our viewers know and love.”

Paul Moreton, Channel Head of Watch, said: “We are really excited to be part of this truly innovative deal that guarantees the continuation of this fantastically entertaining series.  I know Primeval is going to be a massive hit with Watch viewers and the perfect complement to other popular sci-fi dramas such as Doctor Who and Torchwood.”


3 Responses to “Back from extinction”

  1. Dominic Small on September 29th, 2009 3:19 pm

    This is the sort of thing that commercial broadcasters need to do to help quality TV survive – working together to support shows that appeal to audiences, rather than defending their own individual operations by taking short-term decisions which disadvantage viewers. A commercial media sector which works well as a whole is much better placed to compete with the BBC than a block of smaller firms all working individually, and the Primeval deal is a good example of how this can work.

  2. Glenn Aylett on October 3rd, 2009 4:17 pm

    I don’t know why they cancelled it as it was pulling in 6 million viewers which is very respectable these days. Primeval is the kind of show ITV should be making as it needs to broaden its appeal away from female soap and reality show viewers. Unlike I’m A Celebrity, Primeval makes millions in DVD sales and can be repeated so is a good long term bet for ITV.

  3. Nimrod Gently on November 4th, 2009 8:33 pm

    Because it was expensive and they’re broke, that’s why. Getting another company in to help pick up the slack is a good idea.