ITV has commissioned the hit Northern Film & Media supported TV drama Vera for a third series.
Brenda Blethyn and David Leon will return as Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and trusty sidekick/surrogate son Joe Ashworth for 4x120 mins of murder mysteries set around Northumberland and Newcastle.
Inspired by the best-selling novels and characters created by acclaimed Whitley Bay-based crime writer Ann Cleeves, Vera has been adapted for ITV1by the ITV Studios drama team with series co-creator Paul Rutman. Fellow writers Gaby Chiappe (Vera, Lark Rise to Candleford, Survivors), Oliver Brown (New Tricks, Silent Witness, Spooks) have been brought onboard for the latest series.
For this new series previous producer Elaine Collins has taken on the responsibility of executive producer whilst Margaret Mitchell is producing. Paul Cotter (Shameless, Hollyoaks) will direct the first episode.
“We’re delighted to be back in production with Vera and working with Brenda and David again," said Elaine Collins.
"Despite her apparent chaotic approach to cracking crime, Vera is actually a very good detective albeit one driven by her own demons. We like to keep the viewers guessing as to what she’ll do and say next as she’s certainly a character who knows her own mind and isn’t afraid to speak it. We’re grateful that viewers have taken her to their hearts so quickly," she added.
Vera was brought to the North East following investment and support from Northern Film & Media. The show continues to benefit from Northern Film & Media’s production service. Vera has consistently attracted more than 6.5 million viewers per episode and the show has been earmarked as ‘the new Frost’ by Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television.
“Vera has been an important source of returning work for crew based in the region and has made a valuable economic contribution,” said John Tulip, Northern Film & Media’s managing director.
“The drama has struck a chord with audiences worldwide and showed off our cities, rural villages, beaches and more. We are obviously thrilled that it will be returning for a third series.”
Vera is part of a slate of North East dramas which currently include Inspector George Gently (BBC), The Paradise (BBC), Dumping Ground (CBBC) and Wolfblood (CBBC).