ITV's Endeavour Pays Off

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Having created a one-off prequel to drama classic Inspector Morse called Endeavour, ITV achieved such good ratings that it is thinking of making a series.

Right now, ITV is not confirming anything, but a 6.5m audience for ITV1 ought to be enough to persuade the broadcaster that Endeavour (which tells the story of young Morse) can stretch to four or six feature length episodes.

ITV asked indie producer Mammoth Screen to produce Endeavour to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Morse, the creation of novelist Colin Dexter. It was written by Russell Lewis, a Morse veteran who also created Lewis, a spin-off series about Morse’s sidekick which has run for five series (starring Kevin Whately).

ITV would no doubt love to revive the Morse franchise. The original series ran for 33 two-hour episodes between 1987 and 2000 and was a consistent ratings success. No less significantly, it has been a stronger seller overseas for ITV distribution arm ITV Studios Global Entertainment. Selling Morse, Lewis and Endeavour together would be a powerful export offering for ITVSGE.