Robin Hood (2006) - News Poster

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Robin Hood BBC axed: An arrow into the heart of Saturday night TV

Robin Hood came to a sticky end on the BBC last weekend, succumbing to a poison-tipped dagger.

But he may as well have been beaten to death with a tennis racquet.

The finale of the third season had been shunted from BBC1 to BBC2 to make way for Andy Murray's overrunning game at Wimbledon.

As a result, the drama went out with a whimper, attracting just 2.2million viewers, an all-time low for the programme.

The BBC today confirmed it will not commission a fourth season of the show, which starred Jonas Armstrong as the legendary outlaw.

A spokesman said: "With the death of Robin, we feel that the show has reached its natural conclusion."

Armstrong had announced his intention to quit the show before the 13-episode third season was screened, saying: "It's been a great thrill, a great ride, but you can't play one part forever."

The hero met his
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Barker adapts 'Blood' franchise

British horror master Clive Barker is taking his tales of terror to the big screen again.

Matador Pictures and Barker's Midnight Picture Show shingle are teaming to adapt what is planned to be the first in a series of films based on the horror author/filmmaker's fiction collection Books of Blood.

John Harrison (Tales From the Darkside: The Movie) will direct from a script written by Harrison and Darin Silverman. Sophie Ward (Young Sherlock Holmes) and Jonas Armstrong (the U.K.'s TV series Robin Hood) are set to star.

The Blood series consisted of six collections of horror stories published from 1984-85. The books made Barker an overnight literary sensation.

Blood will adapt the first story from Book 1, which centers on a paranormal expert who, while investigating a gruesome slaying, finds a house that is at the intersection of "highways" transporting the souls in the afterlife.

Barker, whose written works have inspired such film franchises as Hellraiser and Candyman, will produce with Midnight Picture Show's Jorge Saralegui and Joe Daley.

MIPCOM: Canal Plus snares U.S., U.K. series

MIPCOM: Canal Plus snares U.S., U.K. series
CANNES -- French pay TV company Canal Plus has wrapped up a string of acquisitions of U.S. and U.K. series at MIPCOM, the company said Tuesday. British buys include Tiger Aspect Prods.' Robin Hood, a 13-part series for BBC1 starring Jonas Armstrong in the title role. Canal Plus also closed here on Elizabeth I, a two-part costume drama starring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons produced by Company Pictures for HBO and Channel 4. Another U.K. production bought by the French company here was The Aftermath, a miniseries about the recent Asian tsunami disaster produced by Kudos for BBC2 and HBO. The pay channel also snagged Cold War miniseries The Company starring Chris O'Donnell, Alfred Molina and Michael Keaton. The series was produced by Ridley and Tony Scott and John Calley with Sony Pictures TV for TNT. On the documentary front, Canal Plus has purchased Spike Lee's four-part look at the devastation wrought on New Orleans and the surrounding area by Hurricane Katrina, When the Levees Broke, made for HBO.

New BBC1 policy boosts current affairs, drama

New BBC1 policy boosts current affairs, drama
LONDON -- BBC1 has pledged to increase its current affairs programming, air fewer television repeats and commission more family drama over the next 12 months, the corporation announced Tuesday. The promises, outlined in the BBC's annual program policy statement, will see BBC1 grow its dedicated current affairs output to 48.5 hours -- including new specials for its factual brand Panorama. In addition to cutting program repeats to fewer than 8.5% of programs transmitted, the channel will also create new programs such as forthcoming drama Robin Hood, aimed at families and children. Outlining the pubcaster's range of yearly program policy statements -- in which each of its channels, radio stations and web portals lay out their program commitments for the year ahead -- director general Mark Thompson said the BBC would provide diverse programming and technical innovation in the year ahead.

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