BBC Kills Off ‘Ripper Street’ Due to Poor Ratings

Ripper Street

Victorian England-set crime show stars Matthew Macfayden

LONDON — The BBC has cancelled period crime series “Ripper Street,” which stars Matthew Macfadyen, due to poor ratings.

The gritty detective drama, which airs Stateside on BBC America, has run for two seasons, but there will be no third season.

The first season attracted an average audience of 7.1 million on a Sunday night, but the audience for the second season drew around 4 million on a Monday evening. When the latest season of jungle challenge show “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” launched on rival ITV in the same timeslot, “Ripper Street” lost 670,000 viewers. Last Monday’s episode of “Ripper Street” took 3.26 million compared with 8.8 million for “I’m a Celebrity.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “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.”

One of the show’s actors, Jerome Flynn, revealed the show was being axed during an interview on the radio station BBC London on Tuesday.

Flynn said: “We found out this week that the third series of ‘Ripper Street’ isn’t going. We’re all in shock.

“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’s a wonderful job and we feel like it’s kind of this unfinished work. So we’re hoping it will turn around if anyone from the BBC is listening.

“There’s these wonderful storylines which Richard (Warlow) and Toby (Finlay), the writers, have marked out and it’s one of the most captivating characters I’ve played, and also been part of in terms of the story, so it is suddenly like a marriage being broken.”

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  1. Kimberly Graffin says:

    Absolutely gutted the BBC has axed this series! This was a fresh and highly engaging series that I greatly looked forward to. And cancelling it due to it being pitted in the same time slot against I’m a Celebrity hasn’t given the second series a fair chance at ratings. I’m truly disappointed and appalled that the British public chooses to watch reality show drivel over a fantastic series like Ripper Street.

    • Is this really surprising? I can’t believe the reality show garbage that is on TV. Here in the US we are graced with Honey Boo Boo, Wildman, Swamp People, Duck Dynasty and something about low IQ folks making moonshine up in the mountains. In the current atmosphere, an intelligent show hardly stands a chance. Anything that requires critical analysis doesn’t stand a change. BTW, at least those in the UK still have some gems, like the BBC 4 documentaries. Be grateful there is at least something educational still on TV. P.S. No wonder Cable TV is dying and internet streaming is going through the roof!

  2. It is an outrage that the BBC would cancel a genuinely brilliant show like this. Great shows only come along every once in a while, join the petition to overturn the BBC’s decision.

  3. sue s says:

    Too bad, I like this show!

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