ITV's The Bay didn't have the most promising start in 2019. Though the police procedural series, which began with Morven Christie (Grantchester) in the lead role as DS (later DC) Lisa Armstrong, did decent numbers in the U.K. when it debuted and was renewed quickly, the series stayed under the radar in the U.S. after Season 2's arrival was delayed due to 2020 shutdowns and lockdowns. When Christie exited the series after the second season, it seemed likely the show would not continue much longer. However, the opposite has occurred as new lead Marsha Thomason, as DS Jenn Townsend, turned out to be what the show needed.
The Bay Season 4 proved so popular, BritBox decided to switch to a weekly release format in the U.S. since viewers proved they would tune in week after week for new installments. Meanwhile, over in the U.K., the latest season of the show found itself debuting alongside ITV's two most anticipated debuts for 2023 — Endeavour: The Final Season and Unforgotten Season 5, which is the first since Nicola Walker's lead character was offed at the end of Season 4. The result kept The Bay in the public eye and decent viewership numbers, leading to ITV renewing the show for another round.
As part of the press release, ITV commissioner Polly Hill said, “We’re delighted to be returning to Morecambe for another series of The Bay. The series is a huge success story for ITV, and we’re grateful to [executive producer] Catherine Oldfield, [series writer] Daragh Carville, and the team at Tall Story Pictures for continuing to create compelling stories and characters.”
Here's the overview logline for the upcoming Season 5.
The fifth series will see the latest case for Morecambe MIU focusing on the emotionally complex life of a divided family. With the father and mother of the victim, bitterly divorced, Jenn Townsend and the team will have to tread very carefully to keep the whole family onside.
Marsha Thomason will return for Season 5, playing Jenn Townsend, having settled into Morecambe CID. The rest of the series regulars, Daniel Ryan, Erin Shanagher, and Andrew Dowbiggin, who have been with the series since its debut, as expected to return, as is Thomas Law, who joined in Season 2. Also assumed to be returning for the new season are those playing Jenn's family, including Barry Sloane, who plays Jenn's partner, Chris Fischer, plus Georgia Scholes, David Carpenter, and Emme Hayes, who play their blended family of kids.
Filming begins later in 2023 for Season 5, with guest stars for the season to be announced closer to the beginning of principal photography. The Bay Seasons 1-4 are streaming on BritBox in the U.S.