Amazon resurrects BBC’s Ripper Street for Prime Instant Video
James R | On 27, Feb 2014
Well, they don’t hang about.
Not content with relaunching LOVEFiLM Instant, introducing its first Original show to the UK and securing the rights to a wave of Warner bros series, Amazon has pulled off another headline-grabbing deal: Amazon has resurrected BBC TV show Ripper Street for a third season on Prime Instant Video.
The drama, which stars Matthew Macfadyen as Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, was cancelled by the Beeb after its second season due to low viewing figures. Now, though, Amazon has commissioned a new run to premiere exclusively on its subscription video on-demand service, which was launched today.
The show, which will pick up four years after Season 2, will premiere on Prime Instant Video several months ahead of its later broadcast on the BBC. The broadcaster will continue to contribute towards the show’s production costs.
No release date has yet been confirmed, but Amazon is not wasting time: filming on the new series will start in May 2014. In the meantime, the first two seasons of the show will also be available to stream on Amazon’s subscription platform.
“We all thought that it had legs,” Macfadyen told the BBC. “We didn’t feel like it was petering out.”
Executive producer Will Gould said: “We had more to do, It feels right to be going back. There are stories left to tell.”
The move follows a deal with Warner Bros. for five TV shows on Prime Instant Video, including Arrow and The Following, and the UK release of Amazon’s first Original show, Alpha House, a political comedy starring John Goodman.
Ripper Street, though, marks another step in the online retailer’s battle with Netflix: its Internet TV rival has carried out similar deals with the US remake of The Killing and Lilyhammer, which was broadcast in the UK on BBC4 until Netflix stepped in to fund a second season. The Killing, meanwhile, will return for a limited-run fourth and final season on Netflix this year.
Amazon’s high-profile deal with the BBC shows that Prime Instant Video isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe in the commissioning ring.
Amazon’s Tim Leslie told the BBC that if a show was cancelled and audience demand was strong enough, the company would be willing to consider bringing it back.
Ripper Street is resurrected. So too, you feel, is Amazon’s ambition.