The Victorian crime drama Ripper Street, cancelled by the BBC due to falling viewing figures after two series, is to return to BBC screens for a third series following a deal with Amazon.
The announcement of the deal with Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service delighted fans of the series who had been lobbying the BBC to reverse its cancellation decision.
Amazon will cover the majority of the production costs, in return for the rights to premiere the series on Prime Instant Video. The BBC will retain the right to broadcast the show on BBC One some time later. Co-funding arrangements with BBC America and the Irish Film Board will also remain in place.
The BBC indicated that series three would retain the previous eight-episode format, and be produced on a similar budget to the first two series.
BBC controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson commented: “This is an exceptional opportunity to bring back Ripper Street for a third series by working with the right partners […] This deal gives fans another series of the show they love at excellent value to the licence fee payer.”
The BBC News story commented:
Similar deals of its kind are not expected to follow. However, Amazon’s Tim Leslie said if audiences loved a cancelled show and wanted to bring it back, they would consider it.
Actress MyAnna Buring, who plays Long Susan, said fan reaction was “incredibly moving” in response to the BBC’s decision not to recommission the show.
“I don’t think without that kind of response everyone would have been inspired to create a deal like this,” she added.