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Happy Valley to return for final third season, BBC confirms

Sarah Lancashire set to return to BBC's Happy Valley after six years for third and final season

After a six-year hiatus, the BBC’s acclaimed crime drama, Happy Valley, is set to return for a third and final season. The six-episode season will begin filming in early 2022, with Sarah Lancashire and James Norton both set to return.

Sarah Lancashire won a BAFTA for playing Sergeant Catherine Cawood, a police officer investigating mainly drug-related crimes in Yorkshire. Norton plays her nemesis Tommy Lee Royce – a murderer, sex offender and father of Cawood’s grandchild. Siobhan Finneran will also be returning for Season 3, as Cawood’s sister, Clare.

Series creator Sally Wainwright has offered some details of the upcoming season, which will revolve around Cawood investigating a gangland murder – this leads her on an inevitable path back to Royce. This is all while Cawood has one eye on her retirement date.

Lookout Point, a production company, owned by the BBC, will produce the third season. Whereas in the US, Netflix did have exclusive rights to seasons 1 and 2, AMC has now stepped aboard as a co-producer of Happy Valley. The first two seasons can now be watched on AMC+, and the third season will land there at a date to be confirmed.

According to Collider, Sally Wainwright (who won BAFTAs for Best Drama Series and Best Writing for the first two seasons) stated that, “I’m delighted to find myself back in the world of Catherine Cawood and her family and colleagues for the final installment of the Happy Valley trilogy. It’s been wonderful to see the lasting impact this series has had on audiences all over the world. I’m thrilled Sarah, James, and Siobhan are back on board for what I hope will be the best season yet, and thrilled once again to be working with the wonderful team at Lookout Point, the BBC and our new colleagues at AMC.” It is interesting to see Wainwright refer to Happy Valley as a “trilogy,” as this will evoke another hugely acclaimed crime series set in Yorkshire – The Red Riding Trilogy, which aired in 2009.

The first two seasons of Happy Valley aired from 2014-2016 and were a huge hit for the BBC, earning over 9 million viewers. Meanwhile, rumours continue to circulate over the fate of another hugely popular BBC crime drama – Line of Duty. The finale gained over 15 million viewers – making it the UK’s most-watched drama series of the 21st century. This has led to inevitable speculation over another season.