Victorian-era drama Ripper Street will not return for a 3rd season after failing to pull sufficient numbers for BBC One. A spokesperson tells Deadline, “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.” The eight-part crime series that’s a co-production with BBC America, stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg. It’s set in 1889 London in the aftermath of the Jack The Ripper murders. The action centers on the H Division group of detectives who investigated the murders and tried to keep the peace in a panicked section of east London. Season 1 debuted in the UK in late 2012 and on BBC America in early 2013. Its first BBC One season started out strong and ended up averaging about 5M over the initial run. Season 2 kicked off in the UK in October, but last Monday’s episode was down to 3.26M for a 13% share. This season, it’s had to contend with airing up against ITV’s hit reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, which last week hit a low of 8.21M. Word of Ripper Street‘s cancellation was met with upset in the UK, where twitter was vocal about the decision. Actor Flynn told BBC radio, “We’re all in absolute shock because it was a wonderful job and we feel like it’s kind of this unfinished work. So we’re hoping it will turn around if anybody from the BBC is listening.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC One Preps ‘Gangsta Granny’; Pathé Boards ‘Suffragette’ With Carey Mulligan; More
BBC One’s ‘Gangsta Granny’ Rounds Out Cast
Julia McKenzie, Joanna Lumley, Rob Brydon and Miranda Hart will star in Gangsta Granny, BBC One’s 60-minute adaptation of David Walliams’ best-selling children’s novel. The comedy-drama tells the story of young Ben (Reece Buttery), who is bored while staying with his dull grandma (McKenzie). Then one day, Grandma tells Ben a story that she was once an international jewel thief, and together they go on a wild adventure. Directed by Matt Lipsey, Gangsta Granny will be produced by Jo Sargent and executive produced by Mark Freeland. It begins filming Sunday for broadcast at Christmastime
Former Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay will topline BBC One‘s three-part adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 gothic novel, Jamaica Inn. Emma Frost (The White Queen) wrote the adaptation that’s produced by Origin Pictures and directed by BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe (Call The Midwife). Set in 1820s Cornwall, the story follows spirited Mary Yellan (Brown Findlay), a young woman sent to live with her aunt (Joanne Whalley) after the death of her mother. When Mary arrives at the eerie, isolated Jamaica Inn, she finds her once carefree aunt is now firmly under the spell of domineering husband Joss (Sean Harris). The inn, it turns out, is a front for a smuggling ring. As Mary attempts to navigate her new surroundings, she falls for bad boy Jem (Matthew McNulty) and begins questioning her own morals and loyalties until an ultimate test reveals her true self. Ben Daniels and Shirley Henderson also star. Shooting starts this week in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria with a 2014 airdate to be confirmed.
It’s still missing a 4th mentor, but The Voice UK has confirmed the return of will.i.am and Tom Jones for Season 3. The show has also set pop icon Kylie Minogue for her first go-round in a …
Global Showbiz Briefs: India’s Epic TV Gets Deep-Pocketed Backer; Portion Of France’s Tough Anti-Piracy Law Overturned; More
India’s Richest Man Backs Start-Up Channel Epic TV
India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is backing Epic TV, a new Indian start-up channel. Due to start broadcasting next month, the high-def channel will have content based on the nation’s history, folklore and mythology in a contemporary format, Indian press reported. Former Walt Disney India managing director Mahesh Samat is leading the channel. Ambani, who is the chairman of Reliance Industries, has taken a more than 25% stake in the group via his Reliance Ports & Terminals. This is his second broadcasting venture; he already owns a stake in the Network18 Group. Ambani is the brother of Anil Ambani, who heads DreamWorks partner Reliance Entertainment.
Portion Of France’s Anti-Piracy Law Overturned
A section of anti-piracy law that France spent millions on developing has been overturned. The controversial Hadopi legislation was introduced in 2009 as a three-strikes program that would begin with warning letters sent to suspected online pirates and end with the suspension of their Internet access. But the Culture and Communications Ministry said today that the last leg has been overturned and French judges no longer will be able to impose suspensions. Rather, people who illegally download copyrighted content will be faced with fines that could increase gradually. This is the first measure adopted following a comprehensive report that was led by former Canal Plus chief Pierre Lescure. Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti tweeted her support, saying, “Cutting off Internet is over. Change is now. We will fight relentlessly against sites that make money on the backs of creators.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: Charlotte Moore Close To BBC One Job; Lau Kar-leung Dies; NBCU Launching Telemundo Africa; More
BBC Docs Veteran Charlotte Moore Tipped For BBC One Controller Job
UPDATE, Wednesday AM: The BBC has officially announced the appointment of Commissioning Editor for Documentaries Charlotte Moore to the post of Controller of BBC One. The exec had been acting as interim Controller since Danny Cohen moved up to Director of Television in April. Among BBC One’s hit shows are Call The Midwife, Last Tango In Halifax and Strictly Come Dancing; Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary later this year and returns for an eighth season in 2014. Moore, who joined the BBC in 2006, will be charged with revamping The Voice, which just closed its second season this weekend after trailing ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in the ratings. On the appointment, she said, “BBC One has a unique role to play in this country and I’m looking forward to working with many talented people. I’m incredibly excited by Danny’s vision for BBC Television and what the future holds in the digital age.”
Lau Kar-leung Dies; Martial Arts Actor, Director And Action Choreographer
Lau Kar-leung, a veteran director and award-winning martial arts action choreographer who had a two-decade association with Shaw Brothers Studio, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 76. In 1975, Lau became the first action choreographer to segue into directing with Shaw Brothers’ The Spiritual Boxer. He went on to helm more than two dozen films including 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master II (released in the US as The Legend Of Drunken Master). He began his career in film in 1950 as an extra and stuntman in the popular Wong Fei-Hung movies. His most recent credit was as an actor and action coordinator on Tsui Hark’s Seven Swords, which opened the 2005 Venice Film Festival. Lau received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Hong Kong Film Awards.
Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC’s ‘Big School’; Tom Stoppard’s ‘Dark Side’; Thai Man Jailed Over Documentary
Catherine Tate Set For ‘Big School’
The Office’s Catherine Tate is set to star in a new BBC One sitcom created by David Walliams, who’ll also star. Big School is a six-part comedy set in a secondary school about a dysfunctional staff room, unrequited love and interactive white boards. Walliams will play a chemistry teacher who has taught at Greybridge School for years, Tate plays the school’s enthusiastic new recruit, who despite being a French teacher has never actually been to France. Also starring are Life On Mars’ Philip Glenister, The History Boys’ Frances de la Tour, The Thick Of It’s Joanna Scanlan and Cemetery Junction’s Steve Speirs. Big School is a BBC Production in association with Bert Productions. Jo Sargent is producing and Mark Freeland is exec producer.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Helen Mirren, BBC & ‘Pompidou’, Cannes Critics’ Week President Named, World Cup Windfall
Helen Mirren’s Sam Mendes Quotes Misquoted
Helen Mirren is never shy of a making a bold statement or two. But stories circulating in the British press following her appearance at Sunday night’s Empire Awards have misquoted the actress as criticizing director Sam Mendes for naming an all-male list of his inspirations. In a speech earlier in the evening, Mendes had praised inspirational moments from the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder and Akira Kurosawa, which Mirren highlighted when she stepped up to receive a lifetime achievement prize. But far from tearing down Mendes, she used his list to illustrate how much attitudes had changed since she started. “When I first came into the film industry it was a really bloke-y world,” she said. “Nowadays, that’s really changed and it’s great to see women in cinematography, in sound, and obviously in producing and writing.” She said she was certain that in “five or ten years” a successor to Mendes would include female directors on their list of inspirations as a result. “Nothing against Sam, absolutely,” she insisted. “They were great, great moments he chose.” Given the press fervor that greeted her misrepresented comments, it’s no wonder she earlier joked, “The critics bloody well piss me off. What do they know, honestly?” – Joe Utichi