Have to say that I rather saw this coming, but ITV have officially axed their misplaced Sunday teatime show Jekyll and Hyde. Writer Charlie Higson posted the following to his twitter account:
Sad day today as ITV announce they don’t want any more #JekyllandHyde Ah well, I tried. It was a grand adventure while it lasted.
— charlie higson (@monstroso) January 5, 2016
This didn’t really come as a huge shock given the show’s rather lacklustre viewing figures pulling in just 1.8m for it’s finale.
Based on the famous Robert Louis Stevenson book, the show first aired back in October, but immediately drew a number of complaints due to it’s 6.30pm time slot. Higson did say the show was commissioned as an ‘early evening family show’, but I think there was possibly a disconnect between what Higson wrote and what ITV wanted. That’s not a criticism of the show or Higson’s writing at all, I just don’t think the show really worked as an early evening family show, and was pitched badly by ITV’s advertising, which made it look like it was going to be more of a darker, 8 or 9pm show. Something aimed more at a teen rather than family audience.
This is the second time in recent years ITV had tried and failed to grab the ‘Doctor Who’ audience. Demons which aired in 2009 aimed at a similar audience also failed to find an audience, despite coming from the writers of BBC One’s hit Merlin. Whilst Jekyll and Hyde might not have worked, I’m glad ITV are at least trying these things. You never know, maybe 3rd time’s the charm as they say. ;)