Primeval returns for series 4!

by Lisa McGarry

A NEW TEAM IS ON THE MENU AS FRESH DANGER ERUPTS ON ITV1

ITV has announced the return of the critically acclaimed, smash hit adventure series Primeval. Returning to the action and facing an increasing menagerie of terrors from the past and future are Hannah Spearritt, Ben Miller, Andrew-Lee Potts, and Ben Mansfield. The team will be stepping beyond the anomalies to keep the world safe from unimaginable dangers – aided by the surprise return of some notable guest stars from earlier series. In addition, the new series sees the arrival of new faces and a new ARC…

Ciarán McMenamin (Silent Witness, Jericho), Alexander Siddig (Clash of the Titans, 24, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Ruth Kearney (Gracie) join the team at the ARC after the government loses faith in Lester’s (Ben Miller) ability to run such a dangerous and expensive operation on his own. The anomaly operation is now a public/private partnership, part-owned by the government, and partly by charismatic scientist Philip Burton (Alexander Siddig).

With Connor, Abby and Danny trapped in the past at the end of series three, the ARC has found new recruits to take their place: Matt (Ciarán McMenamin), the new field leader, who is more than just an ex-soldier. He’s a zoologist, with an uncanny ability to understand animals. A private man, Matt carefully guards the secrets of his past and the real reason he has joined the ARC team. Unconventional Jess (Ruth Kearney) now runs operations from the ARC Control Centre. She is highly efficient and organised, and her work ethic is second to none, though she is human enough to nurse an unrequited crush on Captain Becker (Ben Mansfield).

Primeval will return to UK television screens for two new series from 2011, thanks to a deal between ITV, multichannel broadcaster, UKTV, and producers Impossible Pictures.

The premieres of Series 4 and series 5 of Primeval will be split between ITV1 and UKTV’s new entertainment pay TV channel, Watch. ITV1 will be the first to broadcast series 4 (in early 2011), while Watch will premiere series 5 later that year. ITV1 will then broadcast season 5.

Impossible Pictures has worked closely with BBC Worldwide to implement a new funding strategy for the series, in which BBC America, which has acquired previous series for broadcast in the US, joins Germany’s Pro7 as a co-production partner for the new episodes.

Tim Haines, Creative Director of Impossible Pictures Ltd, said: “I am thrilled that ITV has agreed to this new deal which will allow Impossible Pictures to produce another 13 episodes of Primeval. The confidence demonstrated in the programme’s continued success here and abroad will help us bring more big screen action and a whole host of new creatures roaring back into people’s living rooms.”

Laura Mackie, Director of ITV Drama Commissioning, said: “We’re delighted to have agreed this new deal with Impossible to return Primeval to ITV1. The innovative nature of this partnership will allow the show to maintain its high production values and deliver the fantastic programme that our viewers know and love.”

Paul Moreton, Channel Head of Watch, said: “We are really excited to be part of this truly innovative deal that guarantees the continuation of this fantastically entertaining series. I know Primeval is going to be a massive hit with Watch viewers and the perfect complement to other popular sci-fi dramas such as Doctor Who and Torchwood.”

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