Sarah Parish will return for a second series of crime drama Bancroft, ITV has announced.
The Broadchurch and W1A actress will reprise her role as respected yet ruthless police officer DCI Elizabeth Bancroft for Bancroft II, which is set to start filming later this year.
The confirmation of the second series of the programme came as ITV revealed that another female-led drama series, The Bay, will go into production in summer.
The new four-part series of Bancroft will focus on the lead character’s loneliness after being estranged from her beloved son Joe as well as her dangerous pact with crime boss Daanish Kamara, both of which are at odds with her successful career trajectory.
Bancroft, a project of production company Tall Story Pictures, averaged 6.7 million viewers per episode when it aired in December, ITV said.
The programme’s creator Kate Brooke said: “In Bancroft I wanted to explore a contentious anti-heroine, a woman we love and loathe in equal measure.
“I’m thrilled to be continuing her story. In this new series the repercussions of her past actions will come back to bite her in ways she could never have expected.”
Catherine Oldfield, executive producer at Tall Story Pictures, said she was thrilled the audience “took to Elizabeth Bancroft in all her terrible, distorted glory”.
ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill added: “We’re delighted with the audience response to Bancroft and to be working again with Sarah Parish as the manipulative policewoman.”
Tall Story Pictures – which is behind new medical drama Trauma – and ITV have also announced six-part series The Bay.
It will be executive produced by Oldfield and is written by playwright Daragh Carville, whose previous credits include Being Human and The Smoke.
The Bay features another female lead, Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong, who is assigned to a missing persons investigation in Morecambe Bay.
However, she quickly realises that she has a personal connection to the tragic case, one which could compromise the entire investigation.
Oldfield said: “Daragh has written a fantastic contemporary crime story with a flawed but entirely relatable heroine at its heart. We are delighted to be bringing Daragh’s writing to the screen for ITV.”
Hill added: “It’s always a challenge to find a fresh take on crime, but Daragh Carville has written a very real crime story about family and community, which is distinctive, compelling and beautifully crafted.”