Talks are under way for season six of Love/Hate and season five will kick off with Nidge trying to rebuild his crime empire in Spain, the hit drama's producer has revealed.
Suzanne McAuley, the visionary producer behind the gangland drama, confirmed to the Sunday Independent that the show's creators are already in discussions with RTE about another series.
"We're in discussion and have a development agreement with RTE for a new series. We have a development agreement only for now."
Speaking ahead of Love/Hate's hugely anticipated return next Sunday, Ms McAuley said the storylines will pick up from where they dramatically left off at the end of series four, when Nidge lost almost everything as a result of DI Moynihan's sting. "We kick-start with Nidge travelling to Spain to negotiate a new drugs shipment. He is trying to build back his empire. Meanwhile, his enemies in Dublin are closing in," she said, acknowledging that the end of series four attracted some criticism. "Many shows have controversial endings. Lots of people did like it, some didn't. Sometimes an ending is not what the viewers expect, but we are happy it."
The in-demand programme maker said many new faces are also on the way. "The two main ones being Terence May, a gangland boss based in Spain and his nephew, Pauley. The story is ever evolving and so naturally this involves new story strands and thus new characters."
Although casting can be a long process, there is no shortage of aspiring on-screen cronies hoping to share a scene with Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, aka Nidge.
"We look for a particular quality in each of our actors, we want them to be authentic and believable in their roles. But we are not short of actors wanting a part."
Ms McAuley, who also received critical acclaim for her work on RAW and movie A Shine of Rainbows, said the Love/Hate team operate as a very tight unit.
"The long-standing actors tend to take the new ones under their wing and having no egos on set and no star treatment for anyone helps," she said.
The producer is confident series five will live up to all the hype and expectation.
"We can never tell how the audience will react. Every year we work hard to make the show as good as we can make it and hope the audience like it."
Meanwhile, Octagon, RTE and writer Stuart Carolan are in talks with a US cable company on plans for a US version of the gritty crime drama.
A pilot script is currently being written.