U.K. Hit Show 'Broadchurch' to End After Third Season

Broadchurch
Olivia Colman and David Tennant in 'Broadchurch'. The hit murder-mystery drama will conclude after its third season. ITV

Hit British drama Broadchurch will end after its third season, ITV confirmed on Tuesday.

Actors David Tennant and Olivia Colman will reprise their roles as police detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller for one final outing, this time to investigate a serious sexual assault in the close-knit coastal town of Dorset.

"This is the final chapter of Broadchurch ," said show creator Chris Chibnall. "We have one last story to tell, featuring both familiar faces and new characters. I hope it's a compelling and emotional farewell to a world and show that means so much to me."

Arthur Darvill will return for the third season as vicar Paul Coates, while Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan reprise their roles as Beth and Mark Latimer, the parents of schoolboy Danny Latimer, whose murder gripped British viewers in the first season in 2013.

Joining the cast are former Coronation Street actor Julie Hesmondhalgh—who recently appeared in a small role in the acclaimed second season of Happy Valley on BBC One—and BAFTA Award winner Georgina Campbell, the star of BBC Three's one-off drama Murdered By My Boyfriend.

The final season will see members of the small coastal community come under suspicion as Hardy and Miller are back on the case to investigate a serious sexual assault. Producers reportedly spent a year working with organizations that deal with victims of sexual abuse and police advisors to craft the story.

Launched in 2013, Broadchurch was a definitive hit for ITV as an upwards of 8 million viewers watched the anguish of the Latimer family unfold in the aftermath of schoolboy Danny's death.

U.S. network FOX ordered its own remake of the first season, titled Gracepoint, with Tennant reprising his role in the series and Breaking Bad actor Anna Gunn playing Colman's part. The series, aired in 2014, was both a critical and ratings disaster. It was axed after just one season.

The end of Broadchurch had been speculated in recent months after it was announced show creator Chris Chibnall will take over the reins of BBC's flagship drama Doctor Who in 2018.

The final season of Broadchurch will begin filming in the summer.

U.K. Hit Show 'Broadchurch' to End After Third Season | Culture