Lewis to return to ITV in January with a change to its format

New cases will now be two-part hour-long instalments, while series star Kevin Whately hints at romance for his character with pathologist Dr Laura Hobson

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Lewis to return to ITV in January with a change to its format
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David Brown

Hit detective drama Lewis will return to ITV1 on Monday 7 January at 9.00pm but with a change to its format. Instead of the traditional two-hour feature-length episodes, new cases will be spread over two consecutive weeks in instalments lasting 60 minutes. 

Lewis, like its predecessor Inspector Morse and prequel drama Endeavour, has always previously aired in 120-minute timeslots. But fans will now have to wait seven days to see the resolution to each mystery. 

This forthcoming seventh series will be made up of three stories (each in 2 x 1 hour episodes) and will feature such guest stars as Sanjeev Bhaskar, Alison Steadman and Edward Fox. 

Kevin Whately, who has now played the character of Robbie Lewis since the first outing of Inspector Morse in 1987, said of his character’s state of affairs in these new episodes: 

“Lewis is starting to feel his age and he knows he’s getting near police retirement. He’s feeling he distance between his family, who are based in the North. At the same time, he’s aware Hathaway is considering his future, a subject that comes up in a couple of the films in different ways. Also, his relationship with Hobson is starting to flourish. I think that the storyline is developed well in the script and at the right time. It’s nice to move in that direction and see Lewis happy with Hobson.” 

Co-star Laurence Fox also hinted at change for his character DS James Hathaway, but in a path away from the police force: “I think he’s tired of the relentless cycle of gruesome goings-on, death, interrogation and murderers. He’s reached a point in his life where he now wants to something else that is completely different. He needs to take a break. I think you’ve got to built a certain way to be a police detective, and maybe he just doesn’t think he is the right person for the job.” 

Lewis began life as a one-off pilot in 2006 that attracted 11.31million viewers. Its most recent series, which was broadcast in May 2012, consistently netted an audience of over 6m for its four-part run.

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