Wednesday 22 November 2017

Downton Abbey beats EastEnders as new Christmas ratings released

Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary. Photo: ITV
Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary. Photo: ITV

ITV'S PERIOD drama Downton Abbey beat EastEnders because more people recorded it to watch later, new figures have shown.

ITV has broken the BBC dominance over the Christmas shows schedule, according to new figures released yesterday.

EastEnders was shown on RTE 1 on Christmas Day while Downton Abbey appeared on TV3 on St Stephen’s Day.

St Stephen’s Day viewing figures put EastEnders more than a million viewers ahead of Downton Abbey in the Christmas Day ratings war.

But final ratings compiled by, which take into account HD viewers and the number of people who recorded shows to watch later, have dramatically changed the ratings order. Downton Abbey, which was listed at fourth place with 8.1 million views, behind EastEnders, Coronation Street, and Doctor Who, has shot to the top spot.

A total of 11.59 million people tuned in to watch the romantic climax in Julian Fellowes’ popular ITV drama, just enough to beat EastEnders’ 11.33 million. Those figures do not take into account programme repeats or views on iPlayer or ITV Player.

Doctor Who came third, with 10.77million viewers, then Coronation Street (10.56 million) and Absolutely Fabulous (9.07million). The return of the BBC's comedy starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley at the same time as Downton Abbey may be one of the factors that nearly three million people recorded the drama rather than watch it in real time.

Julian Fellowes' next project, a mini-series about the sinking of the Titanic. The multi-million pound ITV Studios co-production is ambitious in scale - Titanic has an ensemble cast of 89 actors and will be broadcast in 50 countries in April to mark the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

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