Monday 27 March 2017

RTE not ruling out Rebellion spin-off despite plunging ratings

Historical fiction: Perdita Weeks as Vanessa and Sarah Greene as May in RTE's 'Rebellion'
Historical fiction: Perdita Weeks as Vanessa and Sarah Greene as May in RTE's 'Rebellion'
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

RTE series Rebellion could get its own spin-off series set during the Civil War, despite plunging ratings.

The series, which charts the events of the 1916 Rising, has lost a more than 150,000 viewers in a fortnight.

Sunday night's fourth instalment drew 487,000 viewers (another 51,300 watched on RTÉ One +1), down 159,200 from the second episode which reached the highest viewership at 646,800.

Episode three dropped to 538,900 viewers.  However, RTE add that "the third episode of Rebellion gained an additional 164,300 viewers over the past week through RTÉ One +1, time shifted viewing and additional Player streams and we expect that viewing figures for episode four will continue to grow over the coming days as viewers catch-up with the episode ahead of the series finale next Sunday January 31st."

Costing €6m to make, and starring a host of Irish talent including Brian Gleeson, Charlie Murphy, Sarah Green and Ruth Bradley, Rebellion kicked off with a bang, hitting an impressive 619,000 for the first episode and rivalling RTE's most recently hit Love/Hate.

Reviews have been lukewarm and some viewers have taken to social media to claim it does not accurately portray the events of the time.

However, RTE has not ruled out a second series.

Speaking at the launch of RTE's online drama series Storyland on Monday, RTE Head of Drama Jane Gogan said, "We haven't confirmed anything about that yet but we're certainly going into a whole period where we'd very much like to tell that story, through to the foundation of the state."

She said RTE is pleased with the reaction to the series.

Has RTE lost the drama plot with Rebellion?  

"I think what we wanted to do with Rebellion, that I think we have done and that I'm very happy with, is to tell a story that is very rounded from lots of different perspectives," she told the Irish Daily Star.

"The big challenge, and it's great to have a series to do that in, is to catch that change.

"Some characters have lost everything, some have become radicalised by it in ways that will surprise us, and some characters are so far so good."

The final instalment of the series airs on RTE One on Sunday night.

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