Following its highly successful debut, a second series of Karen Pirie, adapted by Emer Kenny from Val McDermid’s hugely popular cold case novels, has been commissioned by ITV from World Productions, the producers of Line of Duty and The Pembrokeshire Murders.
Emer Kenny (The Curse, Save Me Too), will return to write and executive produce the 3 x 120’ episodes along with Scottish writer Gillian Roger Park (Sneakerhead, The Young Offenders). Karen Pirie will premiere on ITV1 and ITVX.
Series Two will be based on A Darker Domain, the second in the internationally bestselling Karen Pirie novels and once again star Lauren Lyle (Outlander, Vigil) as the young and fearless Scottish investigator with a quick mouth and tenacious desire for the truth.
In this second season, Karen reopens the investigation into the unsolved kidnap of a wealthy young heiress and her baby son back in 1985.
Commented Lauren Lyle:
“I'm thrilled that we will continue the life of our fearless young detective Karen Pirie, and of course, her bumbag. I've known for a while how well the show has gone down behind the scenes so it's been a joy to see audiences want more. It's a creative honour to work alongside Emer Kenny with the backbone of Val McDermid's story, season one was incredibly exciting building an original character we hadn't seen before. I look forward to getting the gang back together and finally being able to answer the question: ‘Please say there will be a season two?’ with an ‘Oh yes.’
Karen Pirie launched with 6.6m viewers and averaged 5.9m across the series making it one of the most watched new dramas on ITV last year. The series was also in the top 10 dramas on ITVX.
Described as ‘modern and fresh’ by The Times, Karen Pirie was also hailed as ‘meaty, well-paced and sure-footed’ by The Guardian, and ‘the best new police serial this year’ by the Daily Mail. Heat magazine described the series as ‘a truly exceptional example of the TV crime drama.’
Karen Pirie has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill and Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair Jones. Huw will oversee production from the channel’s perspective.
Commented Huw Kennair Jones:
“We're thrilled the audience loves Karen Pirie as much as we do and can't wait to get going on Val McDermid's fantastic A Darker Domain with World Productions. Returning to the world and characters that Emer so skillfully created and Lauren so brilliantly realised promises to be as exciting and fresh as series 1.”
Karen Pirie will be executive produced by multi-award winning World Productions CEO, Simon Heath (Save Me, Line of Duty, Anne) and Emer Kenny.
World Productions are the producers of Line of Duty, Bodyguard, Vigil, Save Me and The Pembrokeshire Murders, as well as soon to be aired The Hunt for Raoul Moat and medical thriller, Malpractice, both premiering on ITV1 and streaming on ITVX.
World Productions produced the highest rated dramas of 2021 on ITV and BBC1 in The Pembrokeshire Murders and Line of Duty. World was awarded Best Independent Production Company at the Broadcast Awards in 2022 and recently won an International Emmy for Vigil.
Commented Simon Heath:
“The combination of Emer’s brilliant writing and Lauren’s terrific performance brought a magical chemistry to Val’s much loved Scottish detective. We can’t wait to resume Karen’s journey later in the year.”
Emer Kenny is a writer and actress whose credits include the acclaimed Sky’s Save Me Too, Channel 4’s The Curse and Netflix’s The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself. Emer also stars in Karen Pirie, as the detective’s best friend and confidante, River Wilde.
Commented Emer Kenny:
“The first series of Karen Pirie was a true labour of love, so it was thrilling to receive such an amazing response from audiences. That reaction has meant we’ve been asked back to make more, and we will happily oblige - the second book is partially set in Tuscany, and we all fancy the trip!
Thank you to everyone who watched our show, and to ITV for ordering a second round. We’ll endeavour to bring you something refreshing and riveting (with lovely Italian views).”
The novels of celebrated crime writer Val McDermid have sold over 17 million copies worldwide.
Commented Val McDermid:
“I know the millions of viewers all over the world who loved the first Karen Pirie series will be as thrilled at this news as I am. I can't wait to see how the team bring the next book, A Darker Domain, to life!”
Filming will commence in Scotland during early 2024 and details of further casting and key production personnel will be advised in the coming months.
International distribution for Karen Pirie will once again be handled by ITV Studios.