Bodyguard wrapped is run last night with record ratings. The new thriller series from Jed Mercurio and World Productions came to a close with 10.4 million viewers (peaking at 11 million); making it the highest overnight rating for the six episode series.
Per the BBC, the ratings performance makes Bodyguard the #1 non-World Cup programme of the year across all channels the biggest drama across all channels since 2011, and the biggest BBC drama since 2008. The show was also a hit on the iPlayer. The finale helped to make Sunday September 23rd the biggest ever day for the VOD service, with over 12.6m streaming requests.
The overnights have steadily climbed from the first episode. The ratings performance went from 6.7 million viewers/35% share for episode one, 6.4 million viewers/30.1% share for episode two, 6.6 million viewers/33% share for episode three, 7 million viewers/34.1% share for episode four, 8 million viewers/38.2% share for episode five, and 10.4 million viewers/47.9% share for the finale. The series also attracted the highest young audience for any drama on any channel this year, with the finale attracting 1.3 million 16-34 year olds.
On the back of that success, the BBC has announced that Bodyguard will remain on BBC iPlayer as an exclusive box-set in the UK for the next six months. For those that will inevitably ask, while there is interest from all sides, no formal decision has been made on a second season of the show. The rip-roaring ratings comes mere days after ITV Studios (owners of World Productions) and Netflix announced a deal under the streaming service’s co-licensing model to make Bodyguard to viewers around the world.
“The finale of Bodyguard gripped the nation and has got everyone talking with a staggering peak audience of 11m on BBC One in a display of masterful storytelling from Jed Mercurio; while episode one is already the biggest ever episode on iPlayer and still growing”, said Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content.
“I’m completely stunned by the exceptional response to Bodyguard which reflects the star quality of our brilliant cast led by Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes and our outstanding crew led by producers Priscilla Parish and Eric Coulter and directors Thomas Vincent and John Strickland”, commented series creator and showrunner Jed Mercurio.
While Simon Heath, CEO & Creative Director of World Productions, added: “At a time when we’re told that linear TV is dying, it’s been thrilling to see the number of viewers flocking to watch Bodyguard live. We’re so grateful for all their support”.