ITV axes Jericho after disappointing ratings for 'Britain's first Western'


ITV has axed drama series Jericho after just one series following disappointing ratings.

Inspired by the builders of the Ribblehead Viaduct and dubbed Britain's first Western, the 19th century-set show starred Call The Midwife's Jessica Raine as penniless widow Annie Quaintain, who moves to the fictional town of Jericho in Yorkshire for work.

The opening episode drew 3.3 million viewers, according to overnight figures, but it faced stiff competition from BBC favourite Death In Paradise and lost around 700,000 viewers by the end of the eight-part series.

Created by Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Steve Thompson and directed by Cilla's Paul Whittington, Jericho was reportedly costly for the network to make and involved building an entire shanty town set in the Yorkshire Dales.

An ITV spokeswoman confirmed it would not be returning for a second series, saying: "ITV regularly refreshes its drama portfolio and consequently Jericho isn't returning to the channel."

Jericho also starred Hans Matheson and The Wire's Clarke Peters.