Only 5 days into the new year and telly is already looking up for both UK and US audiences. With the Christmas Day finale of Downton Abbey on ITV and the series 2 premiere of Sherlock the following week on the BBC New Years Day, the bar is set about as high as you can for calendar year 2012 on both sides of the pond.
As both initial and final audience figures will attest, viewers of both DA and Sherlock agree with the Christmas Day finale of Downton Abbey elevated to the most-watched Christmas Day program in the UK grabbing viewing figures in excess of 12 million after adding up both live and delayed viewing figures and BBC1’s premiere of the new Sherlock shattered last season’s record audiences with initial figures for the live broadcast totaling in excess of 9 million viewers (almost 2 million more than the premiere of series 1). It certainly will top the 10 million mark once you count those households that watch on a DVR delay.
Let’s not forget ITV’s Endeavor either, starring Shaun Evans, which follows a young Inspector Morse as he returns to Oxford University in 1965 to solve a case. Early live viewing figures for the well-received prequel topped 6.5 million and a 26.9% share of the audience for the one-off premiere on Monday. Should make the commissioning of a full series a no-brainer in the not-too-distant future for ITV.
The UK is only 4 days into 2012 and, already, looking at a great year of telly, be it BBC, ITV or Sky. From a PBS standpoint, it’s going to be a great year for Masterpiece viewers also as Downton Abbey series 2 premieres this coming Sunday, January 8, Sherlock series 2 premieres on May 6 and Endeavor will air in 2012 also. Time to get a DVR with a bigger hard drive….