While the show had far grislier, more sordid and devious deaths, the demise of ‘Ripper Street’ itself is quiet and lackluster. BBC cancelled the crime drama after two seasons due to low ratings.
The British period mystery, set in Victorian-era England following the murders of the noted killer Jack the Ripper, enjoyed 16 episodes across two seasons (series), but will not be returning for a third.
Debuting in the United Kingdom in late 2012 and months later in 2013 on BBC America, ‘Ripper Street’ earned high ratings before leveling off through the first eight episodes. The second season was less appealing, continuing to decline to a low of 3.3 million on the most recent episode.
The low ratings are attributed strangely and ultimately to the introduction of ITV’s reality show, ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!’ So perhaps it would seem that those who enjoy period pieces about handsome police officers solving murder mysteries also partake in watching celebrities in awkward situations.
Actor Jerome Flynn, who portrays Officer Bennet Drake, was on BBC radio following the announcement and said, “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.”
Since the news broke, fans have been fairly vocal about the show, which also stars Matthew Macfadyen and Adam Rothenberg. Even though it’s axed by the network, in 2013, with opportunities to raise money and gather support, nothing seems completely gone.
Wouldn’t you know it – a change.org petition has already sprung up. 3,640 people have signed at this writing. Only a few million more to break that low ratings threshold.