In this week’s audio podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom look at the possibility that frenemies John Malone and Rupert Murdoch will combine and snap up the UK’s Channel 5, even as a booming ITV opts out; and Amazon’s new combination platter of Prime services that are challenging Netflix more aggressively in Britain, including through a partnership with the BBC to revive the cancelled period drama Ripper Street. They also preview those other big awards this weekend, France’s Cesars, and take their weekly look at the international box office, as both Frozen and The Hobbit 2: The Desolation Of Smaug continue to rack up huge cumulative grosses.
Amazon has come to the rescue of British period drama Ripper Street. The online giant is today launching its Amazon Prime Instant Video service in the UK and with that has announced a commission for a 3rd season of the BBC crime series. It’s also acquired UK subscription streaming rights to the previous seasons. The Victorian era show, which stars Matthew Macfadyen, was cancelled by the BBC in December after a 2nd season ratings drop. The news elicited an outpouring of lament from fans and it was soon rumored that Amazon’s streaming service LoveFilm might pick up the slack. Amazon recently said it was folding LoveFilm into its Prime service in Britain with the new-look platform bowing today, along with the news that new episodes of Ripper Street will be made available exclusively to Amazon Prime Instant Video members before screening on BBC One a few months later.
BBC One‘s Danny Cohen and Ben Stephenson today confirmed a second season order of crime drama Ripper Street, just as the first season heads into the home stretch in the UK. The BBC America co-production will start shooting eight new episodes this spring for an as-yet unspecified 2014 air date. Ripper Street debuted on BBC America on January 19, three weeks after its UK bow on BBC One where it has faced tough competition from rival ITV’s Jeremy Piven period drama Mr Selfridge in the same timeslot. However, it’s been gaining in recent weeks for a consolidated average of 7.1M viewers and a 22.9% share over its first five outings. Richard Warlow created and exec produces the series that stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg in 1889 London and the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders. Warlow said today that the second season will “move forward into the 1890s: the death rattle of a century coming to a close, the labor pains of a modern world on the rise.”
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At a lunchtime panel at today’s TCA, Ray McKinnon, creator/writer/executive producer of Sundance series Rectify, was adamant about not revealing whether the serialized story would provide a traditional ending. But at another panel an hour …