'Line of Duty' creator is already plotting to axe the show

Ben Arnold
Line of Duty (Credit: PA)
Line of Duty (Credit: PA)

The creator of Line of Duty is already plotting the scrap the hit BBC cop show, to avoid the series going over its shelf life.

Jed Mercurio, who also created last year’s award-winning series Bodyguard, is about to unveil the show’s fifth series.

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But he hinted that its future will likely be limited, telling the Mirror: “I have had some thoughts. I don’t know how long it can go on for. I think a lot depends on how people respond to it.

“I think we recognise that it has got a lifespan. We have to calibrate that against what the audiene response is.”

Stephen Graham will appear in the new series of Line of Duty (Credit: PA)
Stephen Graham will appear in the new series of Line of Duty (Credit: PA)

Mercurio also confirmed that the show has been commissioned for a sixth series after the forthcoming one.

Line of Duty aired its first series in 2012, based around a fictional anti-corruption squad in the police force.

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Shifting from BBC2 to BBC1 for its 2017 series, it averaged 9.5 million viewers, following Martin Compston’s DS Steve Arnott and Vicky McClure’s DC Kate Fleming.

Compston teased viewers on This Morning that he may or may not be in line for the next series.

“I don’t know whether I’d be in it. You never know. We’ve filmed five. We’ve got six commissioned,” he said.

The fifth series will bring in This Is England and Boardwalk Empire actor Stephen Graham, soon to be seen in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

It airs on March 31 at 9pm on BBC1.