ITV has renewed its Morse prequel series Endeavour for a second season of 4 two-hour episodes. The show’s second season, which will again be written by Russell Lewis, is set to enter production in Oxford later this year, with ITV eyeing a 2014 premiere.
Endeavour was picked up to series by ITV last year following a successful two hour TV movie which served as a backdoor pilot. The weekly series follows a young detective Endeavour Morse and his partner Detective Inspector Fred Thursday as the investigate various crimes in the 1960′s. The series is produced by Mammoth Screen & Masterpiece and stars Shaun Evans as Morse, Roger Allam as Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, James Bradshaw as Dr Max Debryn and Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil. Rebecca Eaton, Michele Buck and Damien Timmer are serving as executive producers. Colin Dexter, whose first Morse story was published in 1975, serves as a consultant on the series.
The renewal had been expected and comes after the first season of Endeavour attracted an average audience of 7 million viewers and a 25% share, making it one of ITV’s best performing series for 2013 alongside Broadchurch and Mr Selfridge. The series was also able to consistently win its time-slot across its entire run, beating off competition from BBC One’s period drama The Village.
Speaking of the renewal lead writer Russell Lewis said: “We’re truly delighted by the audience’s reaction to the first quartet of Endeavour stories, and very grateful to ITV for the opportunity to further embellish the legend. As to where we’ll be going next time out..? 1966. The year of Revolver. In the Bodleian. With Miss Scarlet. ‘They think it’s all over..?’ It’s only just started, matey!”
While Steve November, ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning, added: “The audience’s response to the classic crime partnership of Endeavour and Thursday has been incredible and we’re thrilled at the prospect of more Endeavour stories written by Russell Lewis and produced by Mammoth Screen.”