Broadchurch has often been referred to as Britain’s answer to The Killing; it’s also ITV‘s biggest new drama since Downton Abbey. But there are no dinner jackets or Dowagers here. In a reversal of established thinking that period dramas are the major game in town, this contemporary drama has gripped Britain since it debuted in March. ITV has just ordered a second season of the show which concluded its first season on Monday night. Anticipation for that finale episode was so high, it was worthy of “Who shot J.R.?” comparisons. BBC America has U.S. rights to the eight-part murder mystery that stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman at the head of an ensemble cast. The first season’s story explored what happens to a small coastal community when a media frenzy comes to town after a young boy is murdered.

At launch, Broadchurch drew 9.1M viewers for a 31% share and continued to pull strong numbers throughout the run. The mystery surrounding the death of little Danny Latimer kept Britons in thrall until it was resolved in Monday night’s closing episode, and reviews have been largely positive. BBC America will air the series later this year and Shine America holds the format rights in the U.S. Production on season two starts in 2014, although plot details and returning characters are being kept under wraps.

The Kudos Film and Television and Imaginary Friends Productions drama was created by Camelot exec producer Chris Chibnall. Chibnall writes the show and exec produces with Kudos’ Jane Featherstone. The first series was produced by Richard Stokes.