Entertainment & Arts

Broadchurch stars to return for third series

Olivia Colman and David Tennant in Broadchurch Image copyright PA/ITV
Image caption Olivia Colman and David Tennant play detective double act DS Miller and DI Hardy

David Tennant and Olivia Colman will return for a third series of hit drama Broadchurch, ITV has confirmed.

The show's second season, which revolves around two separate murder cases linked by Tennant's character Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, reached its finale last night.

An average audience of 7.8 million watched the broadcast on ITV.

Writer Chris Chibnall said he was "overwhelmed" that so many people had stuck with the many "twists and turns".

"This third chapter has been a glint in my eye for a long time and I'm thrilled to be writing these characters once again," said Chibnall.

There is no news yet on who else will return for future instalments.

'Extraordinary series'

Tennant recently defended the drama after what he called "inevitable" criticism, from both fans and the media, that the second series had lost its way.

"I think we're a victim of our success to be honest," said the actor at last weekend's Whatsonstage Awards.

"The first series was such an extraordinary thing. We never allow lightning to strike twice in this country, we just don't let that happen.

"So, inevitably there was going to be a certain amount of 'it's not as good as the first time'. I think it is. I think it's a wonderful series that I'm very proud to be part of."

ITV has not yet confirmed when he and Colman, who plays DS Ellie Miller, will start filming the third series.

"Chris Chibnall knows exactly how to keep viewers guessing and I'm delighted that he is going to take the story on to the next stage," said ITV's director of drama Steve November.

Around nine million people have watched both series of the drama, however ratings did suffer a slight drop between the two.

The first broadcast of each episode averaged 9.37 million for series one (March - April 2013), and 9.21 million for series two.

The opening episode of series two was seen by 10.86 million, while 5.97 million saw last week's episode on 16 February.

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