ITV recommissions Monroe, Vera, Scott & Bailey and Case Sensitive!

ITV Drama has today announced that after securing 8 of the 10 most watched new dramas of 2011, they have decided to recommission four of those new series’ for the year ahead. The titles making the top eight include Scott & Bailey; The Suspicions of Mr Whicher; Marchlands; Vera; Case Sensitive; Kidnap & Ransom; Injustice and Monroe.

The new dramas to be recommissioned are:

Vera

International award winning actress Brenda Blethyn, OBE, makes a welcome return to ITV1 as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope. Vera averaged 6.6m (25% share) with a peak episode of 6.8m (25% share) during the first series.

Set once again in contemporary Northumberland and Newcastle, ITV Studios have commenced filming four new stand-alone episodes of the hit crime thriller.

The second series is produced by Elaine Collins who developed and produced the first series having discovered the novels written by international bestseller Ann Cleeves. ITV Studios Creative Director of Drama, Kate Bartlett, is Executive Producer. Kate’s co-Executive Producer on the series is fellow ITVS executive, Kate Lewis.

Paul Rutman rejoins the production team and has written the first film entitled ‘The Ghost Position‘. Paul has also written the fourth as yet untitled film. Colin Teevan has written the second film ‘Sandancers’ and Gaby Chiappe has adapted the third film ‘Silent Voices’, from Ann Cleeves’ latest novel.

Scott & Bailey

Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp will resume their partnership as Scott & Bailey in 8 new episodes due in production at the end of October 2011 and for transmission during 2012.

Acclaimed writer and co-creator Sally Wainwright and Consultancy Producer Diane Taylor, a retired Detective within the Greater Manchester Police Force, who helped shape the first series and advised on the realities of working within a murder squad like Syndicate 9, will again join forces with Sally to write the series. It’s also hoped Amelia Bullmore, who returns as Detective Chief Insp Gill Murray, will also write for the series this year.

Scott & Bailey will once again explore the personal and professional lives of DC Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) and DC Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones), both members of Syndicate 9, a Major Incident Team within the Manchester Met Police, who are tasked with tracking down killers.

A producer for the series is still to be appointed and both Sally Wainwright and Nicola Shindler, Director of Red Production Company are Executive Producers. Based on an idea from Suranne and her former Coronation Street co-star Sally Lindsay, the series will be filmed on location in Manchester.

Monroe

Mammoth Screen will go into production with new episodes of acclaimed medical drama Monroe during 2012, with James Nesbitt picking up his scalpel again to play neurosurgeon Gabriel Monroe for this second series.

Created by multi-award winning writer Peter Bowker, the new six episodes will find the newly divorced Monroe coming to terms with his single life and throwing himself with even greater energy into the life of St Matthew’s Hospital and the challenges of the operating theatre, with more jeopardy, humour and emotionally charged drama than ever before. Sarah Parish reprises her role as Monroe’s sparring partner cardiac surgeon Jenny Bremner.

Alongside the returning ensemble there will be two major new additions to the cast, both of whom will challenge Monroe’s world in significant ways.

Monroe averaged 5.7m (22% share) viewers during its six week run.

The series will again be filmed on location in Leeds.

Case Sensitive

Based on the highly acclaimed psychological suspense novels written by Sophie Hannah, Case Sensitive has been recommissioned by ITV1. Sophie’s deftly plotted and chilling police procedural stories lend themselves perfectly to adaptation for viewers who enjoy crime drama on ITV1.

Two new episodes with origins in Sophie’s novel The Other Half Lives will be produced by Hat Trick Productions.

Case Sensitive will again star Olivia Williams in the lead role of DS Charlie Zailer and Darren Boyd as DC Simon Waterhouse. The new two part story will be adapted by Sarah Williams (Poppy Shakespeare).

Averaging 6.0m viewers each episode and a 20% share, with a peak episode of 6.7m, Case Sensitive was 1.4m and 3 share points above this year’s average performance for Monday and Tuesday evenings in the 9pm-10pm slot.

The new episodes will be filmed on location in Buckinghamshire.

A series of Kidnap & Ransom starring Trevor Eve as international hostage negotiator, Dominic King has already been recommissioned by ITV. Filming will begin on three new episodes on location in South Africa from September and the drama will again be produced by Trevor’s production company, Projector Pictures in partnership with Talkback Thames.

Kidnap and Ransom’s first series was a huge ratings success for ITV generating consolidated ratings of 6.7million and a 24% audience share for episode one and an average of 6.0m and a 22% share for each of the three episodes.

In addition a further single film based upon the work of Victorian detective Inspector Jack Whicher is in development by Hat Trick Productions for the ITV1.

Commenting on the continued success of ITV Drama, Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie said: “We couldn’t be more delighted with the success of Vera, Case Sensitive, Monroe and Scott & Bailey. It’s terrific to think we are commissioning the most watched and appreciated original dramas for the ITV1 audience.”