ITV axes Taggart, but show may run on new channel

Taggart has been axed by ITV after almost 28 years.

The long-running Scottish crime show – which survived the death of its original star and continued for a further 17 years – will no longer be screened by the broadcaster. However, programme-makers are hoping it may live on by transferring to a different channel.

The show – which has run for 27 series – has been dropped to allow for investment in ‘new and original drama’.

Millions of viewers have seen DCI Matt Burke – played by Alex Norton – and his team probing crimes in Glasgow.

The series launched in September 1983 with Mark McManus as the dour, eponymous DCI Taggart. He died in 1994 from pneumonia, but programme bosses took the decision to let the popular series live on without him.

A spokeswoman for STV confirmed that ITV had decided not to commission any further series of the drama. She said: “STV is exploring a range of options for Taggart with a number of broadcasters.

“We are committed to the brand and recognise the continuing popularity of this long-running series.”

Also among the main crime team who have solved a lengthy series of ‘murrrderrrs’ over the years have been Blythe Duff (DS Jackie Reid) and John Michie (DI Robbie Ross). Michie is next month to star as the new landlord of the Rovers Return in Coronation Street.

An ITV spokesman said: “We have decided not to commission any further series of Taggart for the ITV network.

“Since it was first broadcast in 1983, Taggart has been one of ITV’s most enduring dramas but, reflecting the demands of our audience and as part of the ongoing creative renewal of the ITV1 schedule, our priority is to invest in new and original drama for the channel.”

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