After more than a year of speculation over the future of the series, ITV has officially pulled the trigger and ordered another season of their Morse sequel Lewis.
The drama will return in early 2015 for its eighth season and will retain the six episode format utilised for season seven. Production on the new season is slated to commence in March 2014.
Developed for television by Chris Burt and Stephen Churchett, Lewis follows Detective Inspector Lewis and Detective Sergeant Hathaway as they investigate grisly murders against the backdrop of the beautiful university spires of Oxford. The series is produced by Mammoth Screen and stars Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman and Rebecca Front.In the show’s eighth season, Hathaway, following an extended break from the police, has been promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector. But when the chemistry that existed with Lewis eludes Hathaway, the now retired Lewis is drafted back to renew their partnership.
The new six episode season is being written by Helen Jenkins, with New Tricks scribe Steve Coombes set to pen the two-part finale. Mammoth Screen’s Michele Buck will again serve as the executive producer. Nick Renton is also attached to helm the first two episodes, while Morse creator Colin Dexter is returning as a consultant.
“Viewers have a great deal of respect for Inspector Lewis and a huge loyalty to Kevin Whately,” said ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November, who commissioned the new season. “Together with Laurence, he has forged a formidable partnership and we’re delighted to have them back on ITV.”
While Executive Producer Michele Buck added: “Lewis has a special place in the hearts of the ITV audience. Each story is intriguing and complex and viewers relish the fine writing, acting and excellent production values.”
The pick up of the eighth season was first hinted at by ITV in 2012 when the company said that, despite reports that Lewis‘ seventh season would be its last, there was a possibility that the series would return in 2014 in some form. It also comes after the successful launch of Morse prequel Endeavour; the second season of which is set to air on ITV later this year.