U.K.'s ITV Orders Second Season of Hit Crime Drama 'Broadchurch'

David Tennant - P 2012
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

David Tennant - P 2012

The season finale of the show starring David Tennant, which will air in the U.S. on BBC America, drew strong ratings again for the home of "Downton Abbey."

U.K. TV networks giant ITV has ordered a second season of the crime drama Broadchurch, which has drawn big ratings and become the topic of water-cooler conversations across Britain in recent weeks.
The whodunnit, which centers on the mysterious death of young Danny Latimer in a small town, has an ensemble cast led by former Doctor Who lead David Tennant and Olivia Colman. Written and created by Chris Chibnall and produced by Kudos Film and Television and Imaginary Friends Productions, the show will go back into production next year, ITV said.  

STORY: BBC America Acquires 'Broadchurch,' Starring 'Doctor Who' Alums

Details of the story and which characters will return are being kept secret.
British audiences have been discussing clues and picking their top suspects in recent weeks, and even bookmakers offered odds on who killed Latimer.

STORY: U.K. Industry Welcomes Government Plans to Boost TV, Animation, VFX Sectors

The first episode of the show drew 9.1 million viewers. According to ITV, which also is the home of costume drama Downton Abbey, that was the highest weekday launch audience for a new drama in the U.K. since ITV’s Whitechapel in January 2009.

The final episode on Monday, which revealed the killer, hit a peak audience of 9.3 million viewers and an average 8.6 million. Based on overnight ratings, Broadchurch drew an average live audience of 7.1 million in its eight-episode first season. Including delayed viewing, consolidated ratings show an average audience of 9.2 million viewers. That makes it ITV's highest-rated new weekday drama since 2004.
“We’re delighted to be commissioning a second series of Broadchurch,” said ITV director of television Peter Fincham. “From the moment the murder scene was discovered, viewers became gripped by the series, and we’ve been genuinely thrilled by the audience response. David's and Olivia’s performances and Chris’ cleverly crafted scripts have created a truly compelling drama.”  
Said Chibnall: "The whole Broadchurch team has been delighted and properly gobsmacked by the response from ITV viewers. When I first talked to Peter Fincham and Laura Mackie, ITV’s director of drama, about Broadchurch, I mentioned that if people liked it, there was another very different story we could tell afterwards. I'm really thrilled we're going to tell that story, too."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai