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'Ripper Street' has been saved from the TV scrapheap, after Amazon stepped in to fund series three of the axed BBC crime drama.

Fans were left shocked when the Whitechapel-set show was cancelled in the autumn, amid concerns over falling ratings and value for licence-fee money.

ripper street

Cast members also voiced their frustrations at the BBC's decision, with Jerome Flynn describing 'Ripper Street' as an "unfinished work" with "great storylines".

Amazon seemingly agrees, since the web giant has commissioned eight new episodes for its Prime Instant Video service - previously known as Lovefilm Instant.

This will see 'Ripper Street' air first on Amazon, and then on the BBC - which will still contribute towards production costs - a few months later.

Tiger Aspect and Lookout Point will continue to produce the show, while other broadcast partners - including BBC America and the Irish Film Board - are also to remain involved.

Filming is set to get underway at the purpose-built set in Dublin in May, with all principal cast members ready to return.

Matthew Macfayden, who plays Detective Inspector Edmund Reid in the show, expressed his delight at the decision to save 'Ripper Street'.

"We all thought that it had legs," he said. "We didn't feel like it was petering out."

Ben Stephenson, the BBC's Controller of Drama Commissioning, said the Amazon deal offered "an exceptional opportunity" to bring back Ripper Street for a third series by working with the right partners.

"This deal gives fans another series of the show they love at excellent value to the licence fee payer."

'Ripper Street' becomes the latest in a series of axed TV shows to be resurrected in recent times - potentially due to the success of online content streaming.

The triumph that was the Netflix-commissioned fourth series of 'Arrested Development' - a show Fox cancelled in 2006 - may have had some bearing on Amazon's decision to take over 'Ripper Street'.

Two other hit US shows are set to be brought back after a four-year absence, with Fox reviving '24' in the guise of '24: Live Another Day' and NBC bringing back 'Heroes' as 'Heroes Reborn'.

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