Endeavour to return to ITV for fifth series with extended run of six films

TV has today announced that Mammoth Screen’s critically-acclaimed and popular detective drama Endeavour has been recommissioned for a fifth series. The latest chapter of the Inspector Morse prequel series will be extended to run as six feature-length films for transmission in 2018. 

Charting the career of the young Endeavour Morse, the hit series has gone from strength to strength since its first outing as a one-off film to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Inspector Morse in 2012. The new series, which will be set in 1968 and continue to be written by creator Russell Lewis, will go into production this Spring. 

Shaun Evans (The Scandalous Lady W) is set to reprise his role as the young Morse, starring alongside acclaimed stage and screen actor Roger Allam (The Missing) as Endeavour’s senior officer, Detective Inspector Fred Thursday. Also returning will be series regulars Dakota Blue Richards (Skins) as WPC Shirley Trewlove, Anton Lesser (Game Of Thrones) as Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright and Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back) as Dorothea Frazil. 

The announcement follows the successful launch of the fourth series earlier this month, which received critical praise and impressive viewing figures despite strong competition on BBC1. Marking the 30th anniversary of Inspector Morse on ITV, the first episode, which aired on Sunday 8 January, pulled in a consolidated rating of 6.8m and 24% share, which is the biggest audience since 2014 and up on the year on year average by half a million viewers. 

Produced by Mammoth Screen and filmed in and around Oxford, the new films will be executive produced by Damien Timmer, MD of Mammoth Screen, one of the UK’s leading independent production companies and an ITV Studios owned company. Writer and creator Russell Lewis will also executive produce, alongside former Endeavour producer Tom Mullens and Rebecca Eaton for WGBH. 

Creator, Russell Lewis said: “The prospect of creating further chapters in Morse’s secret history is always exciting, but expanding our quartet of investigations to a sextet gives us the opportunity to deliver a truly epic year in the life of Colin Dexter’s immortal creation.”  

Executive producer, Tom Mullens added, “We’re delighted that Endeavour will return next year with another set of striking stories from Russell Lewis and once again it’s an honour to have Shaun Evans and Roger Allam on board, bringing Morse and Thursday exquisitely to life in the ‘revolutionary’ world of 1968.” 

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill says, “Endeavour continues to be hugely popular with ITV audiences, and we’re delighted to announce that it’ll be returning for an extended fifth series. Russell Lewis’s scripts are always immensely intriguing and gripping, and Mammoth Screen consistently deliver high-quality drama.” 

ITV Studios Global Entertainment will distribute Endeavour internationally. Mammoth Screen is one of the UK's leading drama indies, with recent productions including THE WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION and POLDARK for BBC1, NW for BBC2 and VICTORIA for ITV. Upcoming productions also include NOUGHTS AND CROSSES for BBC1, THE CITY AND THE CITY for BBC2 and FEARLESS and NEXT OF KIN for ITV.  

January 31, 2017 4:49am ET by ITV Press Centre  

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