Sarah Lancashire, James Norton and Siobhan Finneran will all reprise their roles, with filming due to begin in early 2022, six years after series two aired.
Happy Valley launched on BBC One in 2014 with a second series airing in 2016 and today it has finally been announced that Sally Wainwright has written six new episodes of her smash hit drama, with Sarah Lancashire returning to star as Sergeant Catherine Cawood.
The third series has been long discussed by Wainwright and Lancashire as the final chapter of the Happy Valley story and comes off the back of the huge success of the first two series.
On 28-day consolidated viewing data, the first series of Happy Valley was watched by an average of 8m viewers, with series two averaging 9.3m viewers. And when it aired in 2016, 9.8m viewers watched the series two finale.
James Norton and Siobhan Finneran are also confirmed to return for series three, as Catherine’s nemesis, the murderer and sex offender Tommy Lee Royce, and Catherine’s sister, the recovering addict Clare Cartwright, respectively. Further returning cast members and new additions will be announced in due course.
When Catherine discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir it sparks a chain of events that unwittingly leads her straight back to Tommy Lee Royce.
Her grandson Ryan is now sixteen and still living with Catherine, but he has ideas of his own about what kind of relationship he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father.
Still battling the seemingly never-ending problem of drugs in the valley and those who supply them, Catherine is on the cusp of retirement.
Creator and writer Sally Wainwright said, "I'm delighted to find myself back in the world of Catherine Cawood and her family and colleagues for the final instalment 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 that 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."
Speaking about returning to Happy Valley, Sarah Lancashire said "It’s time to let the dog see the rabbit."
To which James Norton added "To take on Tommy one final time is a wonderful and daunting privilege and something I’ve been looking forward to since we wrapped the last series, 6 years ago. I’m so excited to be working with the insanely talented Sally and Sarah again. Thinking we should all go on one last barge holiday, for old times’ sake."
And Siobhan Finneran talked about returning, and said "I’m so thrilled to be returning to Happy Valley as Clare, and delighted to now be able to answer the question: “Please tell me there’s going to be another Happy Valley???” with a resounding “Yes there is.”"
Filming will take place in and around West Yorkshire in 2022, premiering on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. In the U.S. and Canada, AMC Networks will be the exclusive home for series three which will be available on the AMC+ premium streaming bundle where series one and two are also now available to binge.
Director of BBC Drama, Piers Wenger said "When Happy Valley first launched on the BBC in 2014, it changed the landscape of crime drama completely. Sally has crafted a magnificent conclusion that is sure to make this third and final series one of television’s most highly anticipated and unmissable moments."
"Huge thanks go to Sally, Sarah and the Lookout Point team, plus James and Siobhan, for coming together for this special moment, and we’re delighted to welcome AMC on board this final series."
And Kristin Jones, EVP International Programming for AMC Networks added "We’re thrilled for AMC+ to be the exclusive U.S. home of this highly-rated and enthusiastically reviewed hit series. Sally Wainwright’s riveting police series is the perfect addition to AMC+’s ever-widening library of acclaimed and international dramas and we’re looking forward to catching up with the upcoming adventures of Catherine and the other residents of this intriguing town."
Written and created by Sally Wainwright, series three will be directed by Patrick Harkins and Fergus O’Brien, with Chris Clough as series producer, and Jessica Taylor as producer. Executive producers are Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire, with Faith Penhale and Will Johnston for Lookout Point, and Ben Irving for the BBC. BBC Studios, who wholly own Lookout Point, is distributing series three in addition to series one and two.
Happy Valley will return on BBC One