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Killing Eve biggest iPlayer show of 2019

December 18, 2019

The second series of spy thriller Killing Eve has taken out the competition to become BBC iPlayer’s biggest series of the year.

The Golden Globe-nominated continuing battle between Eve and Villanelle achieved 40.4 million requests on the iPlayer catch-up service, over 10 million requests more than the next closest series.

Police thriller Line Of Duty’s fifth series took the second spot, with 27.4 million requests, with period crime drama Peaky Blinders’ fifth series just behind it on 26.6 million. Killing Eve’s first series also makes the top ten as people revisited the show or decided to find out what all the buzz was about, with 22.3 million requests in 2019. Going back to 2018, the two series of Killing Eve combined have now generated 105 million requests in total.

Killing Eve
creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s other hit show this year, Fleabag, also features in the top ten. The second and final series is iPlayer’s biggest comedy of the year, with 20.3 million requests for the series.

Other shows to make the top ten include favourites like Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice and MasterChef, as well as tense new drama The Capture, which was the year’s biggest new show.

BBC iPlayer’s biggest series of the year are:

  Programme Series Requests
1 Killing Eve Series two


2 Line of Duty Series five


3 Peaky Blinders Series five


4 Strictly Come Dancing Series 17


5 Killing Eve Series one


6 Fleabag Series two


7 The Apprentice Series 15


8 The Capture


9 MasterChef Series 15


10 Silent Witness Series 22


For individual episodes, Line Of Duty’s return is currently in the top spot, with 5.9 million requests, just edging out Peaky Blinders, which has had 5.8 million requests so far, and the first episode of Killing Eve’s second series just behind on 5.5 million. Killing Eve makes up the majority of the top ten episodes of the year:

  Programme Episode Requests
1 Line Of Duty s5 e1 5,884,000
2 Peaky Blinders s5 e1: Black Tuesday 5,796,000
3 Killing Eve s2 e1: Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body? 5,514,000
4 Killing Eve s2 e4: Desperate Times 5,310,000
5 Killing Eve s2 e3: The Hungry Caterpillar 5,140,000
6 Killing Eve s2 e5: Smell Ya Later 5,131,000
7 Killing Eve s2 e2: Nice and Neat 4,875,000
8 Killing Eve s2 e6: I Hope You Like Missionary! 4,867,000
9 Killing Eve s2 e7: Wide Awake 4,833,000
10 Peaky Blinders s5 e2: Black Cats 4,772,000

The Wimbledon men’s singles final was the top live episode, with 1.6 million live stream requests, and Stormzy’s Glastonbury headline set delivered 1.3 million requests across both live and on-demand streams. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 was another big success on iPlayer with 8.7 million requests across the competition.

The iPlayer has also been proving increasingly popular with younger viewers. 2019 has seen almost a quarter (24 per cent) of under 35-year olds visiting iPlayer in an average week, with titles like RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, The Rap Game and Waterloo Road proving particularly popular with younger audiences.

November marked the biggest ever month for iPlayer, with 439 million requests. New fantasy drama His Dark Materials and landmark natural history series Seven Worlds, One Planet were the month’s biggest programmes, plus there were strong performances from Gold Digger, The Apprentice, and The War Of The Worlds.

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, BBC, commented: “It’s been a huge year for BBC iPlayer – as well as record-breaking figures, it’s become an entertainment destination in its own right; and with approval for new programmes to be available for a minimum of 12 months, this will deliver real value for licence fee payers. In 2020 we will go even further to make it the best watch ever from binge-worthy series to the biggest live TV moments.”

Dan McGolpin, Controller of iPlayer for the BBC, says: “This year we’ve seen some of television’s most exciting shows return to BBC iPlayer, from Killing Eve to Line Of Duty and from Peaky Blinders to Fleabag, the number of programme requests we’ve received has been incredible. What’s also really satisfying is that brand new series such as The Capture, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, His Dark Materials and Seven Worlds, One Planet have also generated large audiences. Together with our live event coverage, this year including Glastonbury, the Women’s World Cup and the General Election 2019, BBC iPlayer is a unique service that is going to get even bigger and better in 2020.”

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