Lewis, ITV's Inspector Morsespin-off, is set to return after pulling in over 11 million viewers on Sunday night.
Lewis, ITV1's Inspector Morsespin-off, is set to return after pulling in over 11 million viewers on Sunday night.

ITV Production, which produced the 120-minute special, is looking to develop four more editions of the show, which centres on Morse's former detective sidekick Lewis, who is now himself an inspector.

ITV's in-house producer is in the process of tying down actor Kevin Whately, who plays Lewis, with a view to shooting new episodes later this year.

Sources suggest a recommission from ITV director of drama Nick Elliott is inevitable. Michele Buck and Damian Timmer are the executive producers and drama veteran Ted Childs.

Lewis was a massive success for ITV, hauling in 10.7 million viewers (a 46% share) across its two-hour slot on Sunday night (29 January). It peaked with 11.3 million (a 45% share).

The show is the highest rating new peaktime programme of the year by almost 5 million viewers. The top spot was previously held by ITV drama Northern Lights, but that only managed 6.1 million (a 23.9% share).

ITV executives are particularly pleased by the response as they were concerned that viewers may not take to a spin-off of Morse, which during its run was one of ITV's best loved dramas.

The show's 13-year run ended when author Colin Dexter, on whose books the show was based, killed Morse, played by the late actor John Thaw, off. Dexter has given his blessing to Lewis and had a consultancy role on Sunday's show.