The series will follow a woman recovering from a messy divorce who then falls for the wrong man.
It is being written by Jeremy Brock, the co-creator of long-running UK medical drama Casualty.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment will sell the series internationally.
The five-part series was ordered by ITV’s drama boss Polly Hill, who joined the UK broadcaster from the BBC last year, and was backed last week by Jimmy McGovern to reinvigorate the UK drama scene.
“I am so thrilled to be working with Jeremy,” Hill said today. “Desire is such a beautiful and compelling story, dealing with the intense passion of a new relationship, the tricky and messy business of divorce and the ultimate love for your children.”
Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer added: “It’s a privilege to work with the great Jeremy Brock on this very bold, authored drama.”