ITV News

Stefanie Martini in "Doctor Thorne", in what what we must assume is a far crime from her "Tennison" gear. (Photo: ITV)

‘Doctor Thorne’s’ Stefanie Martini Cast as Young Jane Tennison in ‘Prime Suspect’ Sequel

A prequel to popular crime drama Prime Suspect is in the works at ITV, and has already found its young Jane Tennison. Called simply Tennison, this drama follows on the heels of the success of the network’s popular Endeavour series, which tells the story of the early life of the lead character in the popular Inspector Morse series, and has already been greenlit for a fourth season. Prequels are apparently really all the rage these days, it would seem. 

The "Cold Feet" cast. (Photo: Granada TV/ITV)

Flashback Friday: ‘Cold Feet’ Is Set to Make a Comeback in 2016

It was rumored back in August of this year that the late 90’s relationship dramedy Cold Feet might be coming back for a new series. Today ITV made it official! The show will go into production at the beginning of next year in Manchester and the eight part series is tentatively scheduled to be broadcast near the end of 2016.

For those of you not familiar with Cold Feet, it debuted seventeen years ago this week. It ran for five series and won a number of comedy and drama awards including the 2002 BAFTA for best drama series.

The show centered around three thirty-something couples and examined the joys and frustrations inherent in the different stages of their romantic relationships.  We witness the joys of events like marriage, the birth of children and reconciliations as well as the sorrows and hurt caused by illness, miscarriages, infidelities, separations and even death.

First Look at Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria in ITV’s New Drama

Earlier this Fall, Jenna Coleman announced that she was – for real this time – leaving Doctor Who. The reason that she’d decided to hang up her TARDIS key turned out to be a pretty good one –she’d been cast as the lead in ITV’s lavish eight-part drama based on the life of Queen Victoria.

The series – titled simply Victoria – will focus on the early life of the Queen, from her ascension to the throne at the age of 18, through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. Victoria went on to rule for 63 years – Queen Elizabeth II just broke her record as longest-serving British monarch this past September – so there’s plenty of fodder for future seasons should the show prove itself successful. (Personally, I’d be so into this, so I hope that’s exactly what happens.)

Now Rufus Sewell (Zen, The Man in the High Castle) has officially joined the cast as Lord Melbourne, Victoria’s first Prime Minister. The two immediately connected and their close friendship became a popular source of gossip that threatened to destabilize the Government, angering both Tory and Whigs alike.

ITV Commissions ‘Prime Suspect’ Prequel Series ‘Tennison’

ITV has commissioned a new prequel series, entitled Tennison, which aims to do for Prime Suspect what Endeavour did for Inspector Morse – namely, tell the story of the early days of one of British television’s most famous detectives: Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison.

The six-episode drama will be penned by Prime Suspect’s original writer, Lynda LaPlante, and will show a young Tennison just starting out in her career, revealing why she became such a complex and formidable character.

Queen Victoria’s Early Life to Get the Period Drama Treatment From ITV

In their ongoing search for an heir apparent to global hit costume drama Downton Abbey, which is ending after its sixth season, ITV has decided to greenlight a new dramatic adaptation of the life of one of England’s greatest monarchs, Queen Victoria.

This ambitious eight-part drama – titled simply Victoriawill focus on the beginning of her lengthy 63-year reign. Queen Victoria ascended to the throne when she was just eighteen years old, so, happily there’s plenty of story there.

 

Mystery Series ‘Grantchester’ Will Be Back for a Second Season

Good news for the many people who’ve been enjoying new Masterpiece Mystery series Grantchester. Turns out the drama – the first season of which is currently airing on PBS stations around the country – has already been renewed for a second series by UK network ITV.

Fun fact: The renewal news actually was announced by ITV last winter and somehow I completely missed this, but hey, maybe we can all rejoice a little harder now we actually know how good the show is, yeah? (There’s something anticlimactic about a thing getting news that something’s already been renewed before you’ve even seen it. Or at least there is when one is trying to make excuses for totally spacing on this bit of info before…)

Anyway, the renewal news isn’t completely unexpected, as the mystery series was averaging a quite healthy 6.6 million viewers in the UK during its run, and – judging from early viewer commentary around here – seems fairly popular among US viewers as well.

Martin Clues to Play Sherlock Holmes Creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Worlds colliding! Well, sort of, at least. Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has signed up to play Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in an upcoming drama for British network ITV. Whilst it’s not exactly Clunes scoring a guest spot on popular mystery series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, it’s close enough for me.

The three-part series, called Arthur and George, will adapt Julian Barnes’ novel of the same name, which is loosely based on an intriguing series of genuine events in the life of Conan Doyle.

Set in 1903, the story focuses on Conan Doyle’s real-life attempts to clear George Edaliji, an Anglo-Indian solicitor who is serving time in Pentonville Prison after being (falsely) accused of a series of attacks on livestock in Staffordshire that have become known as the The Great Wyrley Rippings.

ITV's Gay Comedy 'Vicious' Renewed for Series 2

From the how on earth did I miss this bit of news files…..

ITV’s Vicious, the gay comedy starring the legendary Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi has been officially renewed for a second series. The comedy had already been confirmed to be returning for a Christmas special at the end of this year, but its fate beyond that point had been up in the air.

ITV’s Director of TV Peter Finchman announced the renewal news at the recent Edinburgh International Television Festival, calling Vicious “a very bold sitcom with a wonderful cast”.

Read on for more.

Confirmed: Downton Abbey Renewed for Series 4!

Great news for fans of British costume dramas, great television generally and the Crawley family particularly: megahit Downton Abbey has been renewed for a fourth series by ITV!

While this news isn’t terribly surprising – Series 3 scored Downton’s highest ratings to date in the UK, and both Series 1 and 2 have done extremely well in America – it’s still nice to have official confirmation of the series renewal only three weeks after the UK finale aired and six weeks prior to its premiere in America.

Filming is expected to begin at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios in early 2013 (likely February), with the new episodes slated to be broadcast on ITV next Fall. The new season will once again be comprised of eight episodes, with an extended Christmas special in 2013. The opening and closing episodes of Series 4 will also once again be feature-length and the saga of the Crawley clan will continue on into the early 1920s.