Close to a year after the show’s fourth season wrapped its run, ITV has renewed police drama Scott & Bailey starring Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp for a shortened fifth run. Three episodes have been ordered for the fifth season, down significantly from the eight episodes that comprised seasons two through four.
The shortened order is a result of a slight shift in format for the show, with the fifth season moving in a more serialised direction as it will follow a single case across all three episodes. Per ITV, the new three-episode format will “allow the story to unfold with scale and ambition as Scott & Bailey tackle one of the biggest and darkest cases they have ever had to face”.
Scott & Bailey‘s fifth season will pick up after Rachel returns to the Murder Squad from her Vice secondment having gained valuable experience. Rachel is exactly who Janet & the Squad need to move forward with a terrifying and sinister Internet crime investigation. Using her Vice authorisation, Rachel accesses a disturbing world where people brag about committing murder and lay down the gauntlet for the next victim. A game of ruthless life or death daring develops, as Scott & Bailey investigate multiple killers with horrifying and everlasting consequences. They will be changed forever and the investigation will take a devastating toll on their private, professional and personal lives.
At present the only confirmed returning cast members are Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp and Sally Lindsay. Jones, who co-created Scott & Bailey, has also been upped to executive producer for the new season. Other executive producers include Nicola Shindler and Michaela Eccleston. “I’m very excited to be returning to the series as Rachel Bailey and this time to be working alongside Nicola Shindler as an Executive Producer,” said Suranne Jones.
The three-part fifth season is being penned by Lee Warburton & Paul Logan and will once again be produced by Red Production Company. Police advisers Samantha Manning and Lisa Farrand have join the production team as consultants, while Red and ITV are still looking for a director to helm the three episodes. Filming is set to commence this September in Oldham, Manchester and the surrounding areas for a 2016 premiere.
“Scott & Bailey is a firm favourite with ITV viewers who relate to the characters’ busy professional and working lives,” said ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November, who commissioned the new season alongside Controller of Drama Victoria Fea. “We’re thrilled Red are reuniting Suranne and Lesley to play the iconic characters so deftly created by Sally Wainwright and Red’s production team”.
“We’re delighted to be returning to Scott & Bailey with an investigation that will have everlasting consequences for the characters”, added Executive Producer and Founder Of Red Production Company Nicola Shindler. “This series is more ambitious and sinister than ever before and the concept of a three part story allows us the opportunity to tackle a story of epic scale and ambition”.