Line of Duty Season 7: Will hit BBC drama get a seventh series?
Line of Duty’s latest episode was the most watched drama in the UK in 13 years, with 11 million tuning in overnight to watch it.
To give that some context, The Oscars on Sunday night had 9.85 million viewers in the whole of the US.
It’s been a rollicking sixth series, with twists, turns, cliff hangers, and sensational one-liners from Ted Hastings.
But is the show going out with a bang? Will Sunday night’s episode be the last ever episode of Line of Duty? Or will there be a seventh series?
Will there be a seventh series?
Line of Duty hasn’t been renewed just yet for another season, so it’s left fans speculating.
“Every investigation has led to this” is the tagline for episode seven, the final episode of the sixth series, which airs at the weekend.
Maybe it’s just a dramatic tagline trying to fuel more excitement for the series finale. But it has led to some viewers believing this is where all the loose threads will be tied up.
Many believe this is when we will finally discover the identity of the Fourth Man – also known as ‘H’.
This enigmatic figure is thought to be a “bent copper” who the AC-12 gang have been hunting for years, pulling the strings of organised crime from the inside.
So it’s hard to imagine Line of Duty continuing after such a major mystery – central to the series – is revealed.
But other fans of the show have argued there is simply too much to wrap up in one episode.
No matter how much drama show creator Jed Mercurio can pack into the finale’s (extended) run time of 90 minutes, that could be a stretch even for him.
What has creator Jed Mercurio said about it?
Speaking of Mr Mercurio – who also wrote the wildly popular Bodyguard starring Richard Madden – he has been rather tight-lipped about whether there will be a season 7.
Talking to Radio Times, Mercurio said: “We’re in a situation where it’s not entirely clear that there will be a seventh series.
“We would hope there could be. But we’re having to do our planning coming out of Covid, and a whole bunch of other things around the idea that these things aren’t guaranteed at all now.”
Mercurio added: “Since probably season four, we’ve been talking to the BBC about the realistic longevity of the series. I’ve experienced broadcasters pulling the pug while we were still developing a storyline.
“So it’s an ongoing discussion, is all I can say. A lot of it depends on the key creatives – me and the main actors – finding new stories to tell within that universe.”
Despite this latest series’ immense popularity, it could be that the show wraps up on a high note, leaving the viewers wanting more.
However, speaking on Jay Rayner’s podcast Out To Lunch, Mercurio said: “In terms of immediate ambitions, I really want to carry on with Line of Duty. I think it’s still got some ground to cover.
"I think that season six proves that there is much more ground for us still to cover.”
Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey.
Surely then, even if the identity of H is revealed, there should be more to come?
The seventh series could be all about taking the Fourth Man down.
Or, AC-12 could have an entirely new batch of bent coppers to show the letter of the law.
What do you reckon?
Line of Duty season six returns for its final episode on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.
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