Sunday, 14 June 2009

Torchwood: Still coming.../Primeval cancelled

Torchwood: Children of Earth is still on its way - a broadcast date in the UK has been decided upon but not yet released to the Press and the public (although BBC America, where the show is a huge hit, debuts it on July 20th so I'd expect a UK broadcast at aorund the same time). The first episode was premiered at a Q&A at the NFT on Friday and the word is that this is Torchwood getting it right at last, the proper adult sci-fi show we were promised three years ago with all the silly sniggering and nudge-nudge taken out. Russell T Davies, executive producer and writer of, I believe, three of the five episodes, says he's as proud of the new series as anything he's ever made - and, as we all know, Russell is a painfully-shy sort of chap and he never hard-sells his work. I'd expect trailers to start appearing on the BBC in the next couple of weeks but, for now, here's a new promotional image just leaked out by t'BBC...

They. Are. Coming.

Also: Sad news - well, disappointing rather than sad - reaches me this morning that ITV have, as expected,cancelled their Saturday night adventure fantasy Primeval. Nothing official yet but star Ben Miller has "twittered" (as you do) that the show has gone. It's a shame if not hugely surprising. The third series, the best of the three, saw a dip in its rating and while it was averaging around 5 million final figures the last episode, last weekend, pulled in only 4 million (only overnights available so far) and thus would have sealed its fate. ITV have no interest in replacing the show with anything in a similar vein - they feel this sort of TV is best left to the BBC (which it probably is, but that's no reason not to try). With its almost-constant barrage of pricey CGI, Primeval was obviously an expensive show to produce and in the end ITV's bean-counters have clearly decided that one Primeval episode = five C*w*ll talent circuses so, as they say across the Pond, you do the math.

ITV - can the last one watching please turn out the lights?

Update: The cancellation of Primeval has today (15th June) been confirmed by various sources and is now widely reported by media sites and publications. ITV say they are concentrating on "post-watershed dramas"; interesting, seeing as the Network's highest-rating post-watershed drama in years, 'Whitechapel', has a second series written and ready to go but ITV are dithering because they reckon they can't afford its production costs. ITV have also given Cheryl Cole a salary of £1.2m for the next series of The X Factor which has itself been awarded a budget increase of £6m. I think we can all see where ITV's priorities will be lying for the foreseeable...

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