Monday, 29 March 2010


[17.53 - French Time] IFTN (Irish Film & Television Network), reports that production of the new series of Primeval is under way in Ireland since last week.

Axed by ITV after series three for financial motives, Primeval was resurrected by an unexpected funding deal last september, for 13 new episodes split into series four and series five. According to IFTN, the new series are produced by Jim Bradley of Impossible Pictures and Rob Walpole for the Irish based Treasure Entertainment, with BBC America, ProSieben and UKTV as co-production partners.

Primeval, distributed by BBC Worldwide, is a major hit on BBC America and is one of the leading brands of the Corporation's commercial arm. The show, released on DVD by the Beeb through 2 Entertain, is sold to over 45 countries including Australia, America, Singapore and South Korea. Ironically, the costly programme emerged in 2007 as a rival of BBC's Doctor Who.

Primeval is also very popular in Germany, an enthusiasm which has certainly been decisive in this resurrection, and private channel ProSieben is a historic co-producer. Series one was also co-produced by French private channel M6, which aired it (digital channel NRJI2 airs the show since series two).

The new series will feature the return of stars from the previous series including Hannah Spearritt, Andrew Lee Potts, Ben Miller and Ben Mansfield. Irish actors joining the cast include Ciarán McMenamin and Ruth Kearney, who play new characters Matt and Jess respectively. But the nature of their characters is not specified.

Could McMenamin be Jason Flemyng's replacement as the new lead? Flemyng (Danny Quinn) is very busy and series four picks up several months after the cliffhanger of series three, which saw characters Danny, Connor and Abby stranded in different time periods.

Primeval series four (seven episodes) will air on ITV1 from 2011 with series five continuing on UKTV’s channel, Watch - as UKTV enter as a first-time investor and gets a first-run of the last six episodes in the 13-episode batch.

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