Primeval Earns A Reprieve

Officially cancelled back in June, dinosaur sci-fi drama “Primeval” has been rescued from extinction through a new deal that splits costs with a digital channel reports The Guardian.

Cash-strapped British TV network ITV abruptly cancelled several of its regular series earlier this year such as “Wire in the Blood” and “Primeval”, shows which had solid ratings but were deemed too expensive for the network to continue producing in the face of the global recession.

Now the show’s production company Impossible Pictures and ITV have worked out a plan with BBC Worldwide, BBC America and Germany’s Pro7 who will all come onboard as production partners for a further thirteen episodes of the show. The episodes will be shot next year and then split in half and air separately as a fourth and fifth series in 2011.

The deal means ITV and UKTV channel Watch will share the airing rights with the fourth series first broadcast on ITV1 then later on Watch in early 2011, while the fifth season will first air on Watch and later on ITV1 in late 2011.

The show, which follows a group of scientists in present-day Britain fighying prehistoric and futuristic creatures that have been transported through time, underwent a casting shake-up this past year. The cast in place at the end of the third season are all expected to return for the next batch of episodes, as will showrunner Adrian Hodges.