Thursday 12 December 2019

RTE boss 'not concerned' by Rebellion's drop in viewing figures

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'
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Managing Director of RTE Glen Killane is unconcerned by drama Rebellion's drop in ratings.

The drama's viewing figures have slumped in recent weeks. The fourth episode pulled in 487,000 viewers - down 159,200 from the second episode which reached the highest viewership at 646,800.

But Killane insists the drama is a triumph, describing it as “a brave attempt”.

"It was an attempt by RTE to get back into that space of period drama which we haven't done since Strumpet City (in 1980) so it was a big step for us. Is it going to please everyone? No, of course not but it's achieved what we wanted."

"I am not concerned by the figures. It is performing well with a 30pc share. It is a hugely ambitious project for us, and one which we have put a lot into it.

"You will always be on shaky grounds when discussing The Rising. I think it is a brave attempt. I would love to see a follow up in the decade of commemoration.... in the next 24-36 months."

Killane was speaking at the launch of the new Boston College/ Centenary Ireland 1916 online exhibition in the national library.

The online resource sheds light on previously unseen archival imagery and footage and reveals "the hidden stories of 1916."

Special topics include the women of 1916, audio and video footage from the time, specially commissioned documentaries about key individuals and detailed historical analysis.

RTE and Century Ireland hope to recreate the palpable sense of confusion and trauma that engulfed Dublin by live tweeting the events of 1916 in real time.

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