According to Guardian.co.uk series four of Primeval could be a co-production between ITV and a digital channel, with Sci Fi the front-runner. As part of the deal, the next series would air on the lucky digital channel first.
Impossible Picture, the production company behind Primeval, has apparently presented a co-production proposal to ITV boss Peter Fincham, and is awaiting his response. A source is quoted as saying: “Everything is being looked at to see if the show can be brought in most cost-effectively and there is a plan that has been put to ITV which involves other channels. It is a couple of weeks away from a decision. Peter Fincham wants to see what kind of business deals can be put together.”
The article then quotes another source: “For the past few years Sci Fi has been making the transition from a secondary rights channel to showing first-run content. It has had a couple of big hits with Knight Rider and Dollhouse and people are starting to look at it to get new stuff away. It is starting to be on the radar a bit more. Primeval is a programme that it would love to have, although no decisions have yet been made as to how it could work."
It certainly makes sense to us. ITV is looking to cut costs, and Primeval, while performing solidly (if not spectacularly) in the ratings, is a very expensive show, thanks to all those CG dinos. Offloading some of those costs onto a willing digital channel in a co-production deal may make a fourth series feasible, and ITV would be mad to junk a show when a Hollywood film spin-off has just been announced – think of all the extra publicity that’s going to bring. And for Sci Fi, there's a guaranteed fanbase.
We genuinely hope this pans out.