ITV axes Kingdom

ITV has axed Norfolk based drama Kingdom, after three series on the commercial broadcaster.

The news was revealed by lead actor Stephen Fry on his blog and twitter feed this morning.

He said: “Our masters at ITV have decided that there shan’t be a fourth series of the television series Kingdom. I am sorry because it was such a pleasure making them in my beloved Norfolk. I am sorry because the crew of mostly local East Anglians was so cheerful, professional and delightful to work with.”

Fry also paid tribute to “the cast of local people who cheerfully subjected themselves to the indignities of a background artist’s day”.

“They will all be missed and their memories cherished. It was a charming and cheerful experience for us all. I am lucky to live there much of the time – for the rest of the Kingdom cast and crew it will be a sad farewell that was never properly said.”

ITV has this year axed several long running dramas including Wire in the Blood while “resting” production on The Royal, Heartbeat and Taggart. It also axed tea-time dinosaur drama Primeval, but reversed the decision last week following an innovative funding model offer by indie Impossible Pictures.

The last series of Kingdom ended in July, with an average of 5m viewers (20.1%) for the series. Just under 5.2m tuned in for the final episode.

An ITV spokesman said: “Kingdom has performed well for us over the last three years but we will not be developing any further episode. As has always been the case, we are constantly looking at ways to refresh the mix of drama on ITV1 to ensure that we get the balance right between both old and new titles.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • So Itv, once again, axes one its most popular shows, a perfect 'Never never land' for Sunday nights.
    Probably doesn't suit their new demographic, I.e. people over the age of thirty watch it.
    Oh well back to ITV 2,3 or 4 or whatever it is, for the re-runs of the Sweeny and Minder and, of course, 'Kingdom'.

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  • For "As has always been the case, we are constantly looking at ways to refresh the mix of drama on ITV1 to ensure that we get the balance right between both old and new titles.”, read "this type of drama is not cheap enough - Commission a longer run of I'm a celebrity..." Shame - Was one of the few things I watched on ITV

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  • Keith Geddes

    JUST 5.2Million.. IS THAT ALL? WHAT IS the matter with these people.............. NUTS. Sounds like the audience doesnt matter any more.. WE PAY for it.. WE WANT it.. WE WATCHED it.. old and new titles.. IS THIS considered to be OLD now then? MADNESS...
    IF the likes of celebrity shows over run tv.. ITS NO GOOD TO ME.. as someone else said.. YES.. BACK to the 60-70-80`s tv.. SUPERIOR stuff from Euston Films at the time/Mark1.. ITV2-3-4..
    SO.. ALL stuff already paid for.. mainstream tv is being killed off.
    THURSDAY.. Micro Men.. BBC4 THAT was good.. WHY on BBC4??? The schedulers are to blame. Did Clive Sinclair have that temper?

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  • Too right Kevin B. Yet another in a depressingly lengthening list of poorly judged decisions by ITV's suits. The rot set in for me when Shaps cancelled Foyle's War mid-run. I'm sure television used to be run by people who could tell good from bad, quality from dross - or have I been wearing my rose-tinted galsses for too long?

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