It’s been one hell of a year for BBC dramas and while we’ve enjoyed all of the broadcaster’s excellent TV offerings of the past 12 months, the nation seems to have agreed on a clear standout.
One particular hit crime drama had us all faithfully hooked on every episode this autumn and has now officially been crowned the most streamed show on BBC iPlayer. Bodyguard, starring Richard Madden in the lead role, pulled in an extraordinary 10.5 million requests since it first arrived on BBC iPlayer back in August. Though those who watched won’t find that hard to believe – the show was a huge talking point throughout the season.
Not only was the first episode the most streamed episode on the BBC for the entire year, but the show as a whole had 41.3 million requests on the streaming site, making it not only the most popular BBC drama in a decade but the most successful box set, too.
However, Bodyguard was closely followed by Killing Eve – another huge 2018 TV highlight starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer – which came in as the second most streamed show, with 8.9 million requests for the first episode and 40.7 million requests for the box set.
Other successful BBC shows included McMafia, Keeping Faith and Jodie Whittaker’s first female edition of Doctor Who. England’s quarter final against Sweden in the summer’s World Cup was of course another highlight.
The top ten programmes of 2018
- Killing Eve
- Keeping Faith
- Doctor Who
- Our Girl
- The Cry
- Match of the Day Live MOTD 2018 World Cup
- Silent Witness
‘These figures show that the BBC iPlayer remains the first choice for thrilling dramas, big sporting moments and the very best natural history and factual programmes,’ said the BBC’s Director of Content, Charlotte Moore. ‘This year’s figures are the best yet and show that the BBC iPlayer is going from strength to strength. With Les Misérables, The Greatest Dancer and a new series of Fleabag coming up in the New Year there will be more great programmes for audiences to enjoy in 2019.’
Similarly, Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC, said: ‘It’s been a fantastic year for BBC iPlayer, driven by an array of top quality programmes. Bodyguard set a new high with over 10m requests for its first episode alone. Millions of viewers binge-watched Killing Eve with the full series made available from the start. Keeping Faith was a sleeper hit from BBC Wales and Doctor Who returned with higher numbers of iPlayer viewers than ever before.’
Looks like 2019 is set to be even bigger and better for the world of TV. Bring it on!