Ciao, Aurelio – BBC Gives Zen The Axe

The BBC have scrapped Zen, the Italian detective drama starring Rufus Sewell, after just three feature-length episodes. But producers Left Bank are determined to carry on with the show and are currently in talks with other possible producers.

A spokesman for Left Bank said: “Left Bank Pictures are currently in discussion with other UK broadcasters about Zen. We are delighted that this fresh and stylish detective drama resonated with British viewers, television critics and fans of the novels alike and remain hugely proud of the three films.â€?

Over the three episodes, Zen averaged 5.7 million viewers on BBC One, around the same number as Kenneth Branagh’s Swedish crime-fest Wallander. The first episode did well, beating ITV’s Marple in the ratings, but viewing figures for the next two episodes fell, embarrassingly losing to Dancing on Ice and Wild at Heart.

Amusingly, Zen managed woo the critics but fall foul of the viewers, with the Sunday Telegraph describing it as ‘the crime drama of the year’, and it joins a number of series, such as NBC’s Friday Night Lights which won plenty of plaudits but never got a large audience.