The BBC has released the trailer for the finale of Series 6 of Line of Duty, ramping up the tension and shamelessly teasing the audience once again. The BBC and showrunner Jed Mercurio would have you believe it's all going to come to a head after 6 seasons of complicated labyrinthine whodunnits and who the Big Bad "H" is.
Line of Duty is the BBC's biggest hit in years. Jed Mercurio uses every oldest storytelling and cliffhanger trick in the book to hook viewers, from "Who shot JR?"-style mysteries to various game-changing plot twists to keep the audience on its toes. This Internal Affair-style show about cops investigating corrupt cops has turned into a sprawling saga about the hunt for the head of a multigenerational network of corrupt cops in the British Police.
The show now gets between 11 and 15 million viewers every week. No US network show gets even 10 million viewers in America – these days, a show is considered a hit on US television if it manages to hit 5 million viewers a week. This is a far cry from the 1970s, all the way to the 1990s and early 2000ss when a hit network show can reach 22 million viewers. In the 1970s and 1980s, a show would get canceled if its figures fell to below 10 million. And the current series has a laundry list of questions for the finale:
The show has a bunch of questions to be answered in the finale: is one of the main heroic-but-flawed trio of AC12 going to die… in the Line of Duty? Is the insufferably smug Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin) really going to take over the whole unit now that Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) has been forced to retire before he can finish his life's work of exposing "H"? Is Carmichael a baddie doing the bidding of the corrupt cop network that's been undermining the heroes since Series 1? Would the show feature an expensive TV star like James Nesbitt only appearing in photographs without having him actually appear in person? After all, he would still need to be paid if they used his photo and likeness, so why not go the whole hog and have him appear? If not, they could have just had a lesser-known actor appear in the photos.
The biggest question is whether there would be a Series 7. You'd think with the ratings it would be a no-brainer- but the BBC, unlike Hollywood, operates on a year-by-year basis on their shows, and it would have to be renewed, with contract negotiations with everyone involved before that can happen.
Line of Duty can be streamed in the UK on BBC iplayer and is currently available on some streaming platforms in the US.