‘Bloodlands’: James Nesbitt Drama Renewed For Season 2
The BBC has ordered a second season of ‘Bloodlands‘ after the James Nesbitt fronted drama launched to 8.2 million viewers, and became the highest BBC drama to launch in Northern Ireland on record.
Described as “Irish-noir”, the drama followed DCI Tom Brannick (Nesbitt) who finds himself at a crime scene where he recognises the calling card of a legendary assassin known as Goliath. The legend goes that he was a serving police officer who vanished without a trace 20 years ago – and among his original victims was Tom’s wife. For those of you who have seen all four episodes of the first season, you will know the reality of the situation was somewhat different…
The series is created and written by Chris Brandon, with ‘Bloodlands’ being his first original drama series commission, but working under the guidance of ‘Bodyguard’ and ‘Line Of Duty’ creator Jed Mercurio. The series is produced by HTM Television, which is co-owned by Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions (‘Flack’, ‘Derry Girls’, ‘Doctor Thorne’).
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the audience response to Bloodlands and are thrilled to announce that the series is returning,” comments Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. “Chris’ scripts shine a light on to tensions in Northern Ireland, both historic and present-day, and it’s a testament to his skills as a dramatist, to a virtuoso performance from Jimmy Nesbitt and the care taken by all at HTM Television, that the series has been so beloved by audiences in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK.”
The cat-and-mouse thriller is rooted in Northern Ireland, and filming on season two will take place once again in Belfast and the surrounding areas, including Strangford Lough. This is the latest commission to be announced as part of the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen partnership agreement. The successful partnership, which is soon to be renewed for its third term, continues to support the screen industry in Northern Ireland and help ensure that content filmed and set in Northern Ireland is brought to audiences across the UK and internationally.
“Everyone at HTM Television is thrilled our debut production has been recommissioned,” adds Jed Mercurio, Executive Producer, HTM Television. “It’s a tribute to the quality of Chris Brandon’s writing, the hard work of our crew and the brilliant performance of our cast led by James Nesbitt. We’re grateful for the outstanding support we’ve received from the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen and can’t wait to reward Bloodlands fans with another twisty case for Brannick and co.”
Alongside Nesbitt the first season starred Lorcan Cranitch as Brannick’s old friend DCS Jackie Twomey; Charlene McKenna as his partner, DS Niamh McGovern; And Lola Petticrew as his daughter, Izzy. Chris Walley, Ian McElhinney, Susan Lynch, Lisa Dwan and Kathy Kiera Clarke also starred
“I’m absolutely delighted that Tom Brannick’s story will continue with a new series of Bloodlands,” said writer Chris Brandon. It has been phenomenal to get such a positive response to James Nesbitt’s astounding performance, and the excellent work of his fellow cast and crew. What a privilege to begin another adventure with HTM Television and the BBC, in Northern Ireland – I can’t wait.”
The drama launched with an average of 8.2 million viewers, making it the biggest new BBC drama launch since last June. In Northern Ireland, the premiere episode had a 52% consolidated audience share (live and time-shifted viewing), making it the highest BBC drama to launch locally on record.
‘Bloodlands’ is the first drama from Jed Mercurio’s Production Company and he will continue to serve as an Executive Producer alongside Mark Redhead and Jimmy Mulville for HTM Television and Tommy Bulfin and Tom Lazenby for the BBC. Bloodlands was recommissioned by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer.
You can catch up with ‘Bloodlands‘ Season 1 on BBC iPlayer right now.