Our veteran UK audience research guru correctly predicted the Brexit LEAVE vote based on the factual shows that were hits this year prior to the vote.
The values of Olde Englande led the list.
- Four of the Top 5 shows feature the royal family.
- And the ode to rural life, Countryfile topped them all.
- Countryfile gained nearly a million viewers over its peak in 2015!
Here is our Top 50, Documentaries, Factual & Hobbies for 2016 through end of June (in thousands). Plus my quick Takeaways.
|2||ITV||When Ant + Dec met the Prince||7,687|
|3||BBC 1||Elizabeth at 90: family tribute||7,463|
|4||ITV||Our queen at 90||7,065|
|5||ITV||The queen’s 90th birthday||6,678|
|6||BBC 2||Top gear||6,421|
|7||BBC 1||Antiques roadshow||6,011|
|10||ITV||Killer women with piers morgan||5,285|
|11||ITV||Let’s do it: a tribute to vict. wood||5,176|
|13||BBC 1||Celebrity masterchef||4,792|
|14||BBC 1||Diy sos: the big build||4,736|
|15||BBC 1||How to stay young||4,629|
|16||BBC 1||David bowie: sound and vision||4,473|
|18||ITV||Britain’s favourite dogs||4,433|
|19||BBC 2||Bake off creme de la creme||4,427|
|20||ITV||Britain’s busiest airport heathrow||4,351|
|21||BBC 2||The real marigold hotel||4,228|
|22||ITV||Davina mccall: life at the extreme||3,978|
|23||ITV||Best walks with a view||3,897|
|24||CH4||Speed / guy martin: F1 special||3,763|
|25||BBC 1||RHS chelsea flower show||3,742|
|26||ITV||Sugar free farm||3,739|
|27||BBC 1||Traffic cops||3,729|
|28||ITV||Billy connolly’s tracks / america||3,709|
|29||BBC 1||Koko: the gorilla||3,701|
|30||ITV||Love your garden||3,696|
|31||BBC 1||Nature’s miracle orphans||3,658|
|32||BBC 1||Great barrier reef / Attenborough||3,653|
|33||CH4||The island with bear grylls||3,604|
|34||BBC 1||The vikings uncovered||3,511|
|35||CH4||Guy martin’s wall of death: live||3,501|
|36||BBC 1||The truth about dementia||3,460|
|37||BBC 1||Secret britain||3,432|
|38||ITV||Griff’s great britain||3,432|
|39||ITV||Caught on camera||3,406|
|40||ITV||Her majesty’s prison: norwich||3,391|
|41||BBC 2||The great british sewing bee||3,382|
|42||BBC 1||Jo brand’s hell of a walk for sport||3,377|
|43||BBC 2||Mary berry’s foolproof cooking||3,328|
|44||CH5||Celebrity big brother||3,328|
|45||BBC 1||Inside out||3,266|
|46||BBC 1||Famous, rich and homeless||3,261|
|47||ITV||Life inside jail: hell on earth||3,241|
|48||BBC 1||Muhammad ali – the greatest||3,236|
- I recently reported on the powerful Ofcom analysis of Britain’s ageing viewers for live, scheduled TV.
- Our Top 50 reflects the bias towards the viewing choices favored by the ‘less young’.
Dogs Top Wildlife
- Cute beats Blue Chip.
- ITV’s Britain’s Favorite Dogs (#18 / 4.4 Mn) outruns Koko the Gorilla (#29 3.7 Mn) and Attenborough‘s U-boat (#32 / 3.7 Mn).
- I hope to attend Wildscreen in Bristol in October. One of the key issues that I want to explore is that the UK Natural History community creates wonderful specials and limited series, while the U.S. and much of the rest of the TV world prefers repeatable, multi-episode series.
- I see only one Blue Chip program of any genre in the Top 20, and that’s the BBC’s Pompeii .
- The producers use new 3D scanning and other kit to reveal secrets hidden in the ruined city.
- Watch host and author Mary Beard in the promo here.
- With killer titles like ‘Wives With Knives’, American crime stories have propelled ID network into the most watched of Discovery’s channels by select analytics.
- ITV takes a page from the ID book with the #10 rated show Killer Women, which “sees Piers Morgan travel through Texas and Florida to meet some of America’s most notorious female murderers.”
- Crime is a genre that is gathering steam worldwide: It appeals strongly to female audiences, but doesn’t drive men out into the toolshed.
- Note: Crime suits great titles, and these are increasingly important to break thru the clutter, as I wrote here about the Titles Arms Race.
- Public broadcasting execs don’t value their unsexy but repeating hit franchises like Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow.
- The BBC is wasting opportunities to build viewer loyalty, and that’s important in today’s uncertain political climate.
- I can’t see anything that breaks through: The golden age of British television seems long gone.
- The smart creatives may be focusing on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms.
- Perhaps fear of the future is stifling producers and decision-makers?
But Good Enough for Me!
- But I don’t mean to be critical: I’d give up my 500+ TimeWarner channels plus subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and more — all in exchange for a guaranteed nightly primetime feed from the UK.
More UK Data Analysis + Context