BBC1 drama Waterloo Road will be ending next year, the Corporation has confirmed.
The BBC has decided that series ten – due to air in 2015 – will be the last in order to open the BBC1 schedule up to new drama. It has promised that a new series will take Waterloo Road’s 8pm slot, with ideas already in active development.
For Waterloo Road fans there is at least the consolation that there will be twenty more episodes of the school-set drama which was launched in 2006.
Ten episodes of a new ninth series have already been filmed and will air in the autumn with a ten-part tenth series finishing the show off for good next year.
“It will go out with a bang,” said a source.
BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore and BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson issued a joint statement which said: “We are incredibly proud of Waterloo Road, and would like to thank [producers] Shed Productions and all the cast and teams involved across the ten series. However, we believe it has reached the end of its lifecycle and won’t be returning after series 10 finishes in 2015.
“On BBC1 it’s important to make room for new drama and we are committed to commissioning new drama series for 8pm. There are some really exciting ideas currently in development but nothing to confirm yet.”
Donalda MacKinnon, Head of Programmes at BBC Scotland which oversees the drama added: “When we originally committed to making 50 hours of Waterloo Road in Greenock we did so for a number of reasons which included boosting drama production skills here in Scotland, as well as improving training and development opportunities for the future.
“We were very pleased to significantly increase our commitment to 70 hours recently and that was partly thanks to the efforts of the Greenock community who helped make the move happen so smoothly and who made cast and crew so welcome. It’s always sad when any long-running show comes to an end and I know the Waterloo Road team will miss Greenock – as will fans of the show.
“Our firm aim now, however, is to use that to continue growing the TV and the wider creative sector here in Scotland utilising the increased skill base arising from Waterloo Road to build up future home-grown culturally representative output.”
What do you think? Should Waterloo Road have been axed? Will you miss it? Share your thoughts in the comments box below…
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years writing for Stage newspaper, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.