It has emerged that the writer of Love/Hate, which came to a blistering climax a week ago, is in discussions with RTÉ over a spin-off show based on some surviving characters, although it will be 2016 before it hits the screens.
Stuart Carolan, the writer of the hugely successful series, said Love/Hate in its “current incarnation” was over, as he also appeared to confirm that Nidge, played with Joe Pesci-like ferocity by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, was killed in the explosive ending to season five.
Carolan told The Sunday Independent it was essential “to be brave creatively, all the time”.
“If we looked at Love/Hate again, how to do it, we’d have to do it a very different way,” he said. RTÉ Commissioning Editor Jane Gogan said the programme would not return next year but said “a sixth series is currently in development with the writer”.
Mr Carolan said: “We’re talking about it, we’re having conversations with RTÉ, we’re having conversations among ourselves.
“I look at all those actors and I’d love to keep writing for them in different ways, but the current incarnation of Love/Hate, I think, is over.”
He also referred to the intense shooting schedule required to get the programme on air, claiming that three months on set involved “almost working to the point of collapse”.
He added: “You can only push like that so far.”
Nidge appeared to die in a hail of bullets at the climax to the most recent series, and Vaughan-Lawlor issued a statement afterwards which appeared to confirm that his involvement with the show was finished.
“I’m hugely grateful to the show and to its fans, and I am equally looking forward to the new challenges ahead,” he said.
“That storyline is over,” said Mr Carolan, but he added it was important not to be afraid of either walking away from it or returning to it. “We might come back and we might lose the audience,” he said.
The viewing audience for the last show in series five topped 1m.