Monday, 7 February 2011


This weekend ITV1 aired the final episode of Primeval's fourth series, watched only by 3.596 million viewers (15.4%) from 7.30pm.

When ITV axed Primeval after its third series, an unexpected 2009 deal resurrected the sci-fi/adventure show from Impossible Pictures for 13 new episodes filmed in Dublin and split into series four and series five. German private channel ProSieben, historic co-producer, stayed aboard (the programme is very popular in Germany). UKTV's digital channel Watch entered as a first-time investor with a first run of the fifth series. And BBC America, which airs Primeval in the US, arrived as a co-producer of the show distributed by BBC Worldwide since its start.

Overall the 7-episode "series four", which started last month on ITV1, appeared to be a major improvement from the previous series. Some changes in the regular cast, Irish locations and an interesting story arc managed to keep the revived Primeval at least watchable (in spite some blatant defects) - when series three was only calamitous. But the ratings quickly dropped under the 4.4 million viewers of the premiere and remained under (1) except for episode five (2).

With such ratings and "series five" aired by Watch ahead of ITV, inevitably comes the question of ITV's position regarding an hypothetical sixth series. Keep in mind that the show is distributed, co-financed and co-aired by the BBC and is rather atypical in ITV1's drama lineup.

(1) +

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