Ripper Street may yet appear for both a third and fourth series. According to the Guardian, the potential deal would see LoveFilm funding most of Ripper Street's budget, in return for premiering the third series online in the UK, with an option to commission a fourth. BBC1 would air the show shortly after its LoveFilm premiere. However, no deal has yet been signed.
No deal has been signed, it is understood, but if Ripper Street producer Tiger Aspect can successfully conclude negotiations it would mark a significant moment in the funding of UK TV drama.
It would be the first time a VOD company has stepped in to become the majority-funder of an already established UK TV drama, with the BBC effectively acquiring the show as a pre-sale. In the US VOD company Netflix has funded the return of Arrested Development.
A BBC spokeswoman said: "The BBC is looking at partnerships that could enable Ripper Street to return but at better value to licence fee payers."
In the meantime, support Ripper Street by signing the online petition, which now has over 14,000 signatures.