A SIXTH series of 'Love/Hate' is in discussion but the hit gangland drama will not be back until at least 2016.
RTE has confirmed that a new series is "in development" but will not be broadcast next year.
It said the station, the producers, and creator Stuart Carolan felt it was important "to take time and reflect" before going to production with a sixth season.
And Mr Carolan has hinted that many of the familiar faces in the series may not be back when the drama eventually returns to the screen.
The writer said that any new series would have to be done in a "very different way" and revealed that the current incarnation of the show "is over".
He also praised the stars and crew on the show for working "to the point of collapse".
"And they do that because they believe in it and everyone knows we're trying to get this as best it can be," he said.
"But you can only push like that so far, you know. Eventually something cracks."
In a statement, RTE confirmed that 'Love/Hate' will not return to screens next year.
But just over a week since the finale aired, it said a sixth series "is currently in development" with the writer and creator Mr Carolan and Octagon Films.
"As a public service broadcaster, RTE's principal concern is always the audience and the creative dynamic of a drama and we all want to ensure the writing, preparation and production of a subsequent series mirrors the high standards 'Love/Hate' viewers have come to expect over the past five seasons," it said.
Over one million people tuned in to watch the finale of the series last Sunday week.
Irish people love to hate certain characters that we're constantly moaning about but would really miss if they were gone. Bono and Roy Keane are classic real life examples of people we love to hate, and Love/Hate's Nidge is undoubtedly our favourite fictional love/hater!
In this week's explosive season finale to Downton Abbey (UTV/TV3), Lady Mary was gunned down on the steps of her stately home by a suitor she had spurned, the dowager countess was tortured to death with a kitchen appliance by a crazed Mr Carson and the Earl of Grantham was raped in the shower by resentful junior butler Thomas, who was wielding a billiard cue.