Drama tops iPlayer requests in January

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Idris Elba’s return as Luther has helped BBC iPlayer to a dramatic start to the year.

The detective’s first episode back on the beat was the best performing programme on BBC iPlayer in January, with 3.7 million requests, and 11 million requests for the four episodes of the latest series in total.

Drama dominated the first month of the year, with every episode of top twenty iPlayer programmes of the month being a drama. The return of Silent Witness performed well, with over 2.1 million requests for the first episode of the new series.

New Andrew Davies adaptation Les Misérables also performed admirably, with over 1.4 million requests for the drama’s first episode. Other strong performers included EastEnders, Call the Midwife’s eighth series and Doctor Who’s New Year’s Day special. The FA Cup’s fourth round clash between Manchester United and Arsenal also performed well, with almost 1 million requests for the match.

The dramas helped BBC iPlayer to achieve 356 million requests across the month, and an average of 11.5 million requests per day.

The top 10 episodes on BBC iPlayer in January are:

  Programme Episode Requests
1 Luther Series 5 – episode 1 3,710,000
2 Luther Series 5 – episode 2 2,590,000
3 Luther Series 5 – episode 3 2,443,000
4 Luther Series 5 – episode 4 2,331,000
5 Silent Witness Series 2 – Two Spirits, Part 1 2,184,000
6 EastEnders 01/01/2019 1,575,000
7 Silent Witness Series 2 – Two Spirits, Part 2 1,503,000
8 Les Misérables Series 1 – episode 1 1,489,000
9 EastEnders 04/01/2019 1,409,000
10 EastEnders 03/01/2019 – part 2 1,284,000

The top 10 episodes per series on BBC iPlayer in January are:

  Programme Episode Requests
1 Luther Series 5 – episode 1 3,710,000
2 Silent Witness Series 2 – Two Spirits, Part 1 2,184,000
3 EastEnders 01/01/2019 1,575,000
4 Les Misérables Series 1 – episode 1 1,489,000
5 Call the Midwife Series 8 – episode 1 1,257,000
6 Doctor Who Resolution 1,059,000
7 The FA Cup Fourth Round: Arsenal v Man Utd 976,000
8 Death in Paradise Series 8 – episode 1 945,000
9 Luther Series 1 – episode 1 943,000
10 Match of the Day 19/01/2019 940,000

Dan McGolpin, controller of programming for the BBC, says: “It’s been a very good start to 2019 on BBC iPlayer with new drama in particular drawing large audiences in January. Viewers were delighted to see the return of Luther, Silent Witness and Call the Midwife and thrilled to see Andrew Davies’ brand new adaptation of Les Misérables. In terms of live programmes the FA Cup has already seen a number of high profile matches with the quarter-finals coming soon. There’s plenty more to look forward to on BBC iPlayer throughout the rest of the year.”


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