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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Some Television Renewals

I was a little anxious about whether ITV would recommission some of the excellent dramas they've shown this year. The channel don't have a great track record for sticking with things (aside from soap and reality television, of course) and I don't think the viewing figures were as high as executives hoped. However, I was proven pleasantly wrong today as Case Sensitive, Scott & Bailey and Vera were all renewed.

Case Sensitive will be another two-parter centring around DS Charlie Zailer and DC Simon Waterhouse. According to Sophie Hannah's Twitter feed, it will take her novel The Other Half Lives as its story. That was the first of Hannah's books I read so I'm eager to see how it will translate onto screen. Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd were fantastic in the lead roles last time around and I suspect they'll be as riveting this time. Read my review of the first Case Sensitive here.

Scott & Bailey was the series I was most concerned about. Despite having a stellar cast, it struggled to maintain a decent balance between crime and the personal stories in each episode. I commented at the time that it was most likely because the run was so short at only six episodes. Well, ITV have upped that this time to eight episodes which is a show of faith - but perhaps not enough. Now both actors and writers have got a proper feel for the characters I think this should work very well. Interestingly, this is the only programme out of the three which wasn't adapted from a book. Read my review of series one of Scott & Bailey here.

I never got round to reviewing Vera because I watched it so long after it was broadcast. However, I really enjoyed it. Brenda Blethyn was excellent as the tough-skinned, abrasive detective and the supporting cast came into their own as the episodes progressed. It was beautifully shot as well, utilising the North East landscape to make it as much of a character as Vera herself. Filming has already started on the four two-hour episodes and I look forward to seeing and - hopefully - reviewing them.

Any thoughts on the recommissions?

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