Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

UK Wildlife: Top 25 programs in the year of Covid. What next?

Here are the Top 25-rated British Wildlife and Pets/Lifestyle programs in 1H 2020.

  • The nostalgic “Land & Country” theme that I described in my Top 100 UK Factual and Top 25 History posts is less prominent in the Natural History category.
  • Viewers who love Wildlife enjoy being transported to remote locations that are mostly beyond their reach.
  • On the local and comforting side of the spectrum, there are hot Pet shows, including ones that aspire to cover canine psychology.
  • And BBC2’s Springwatch / Winterwatch franchises always repeat strongly.

Content Desert?

  • Primates and Blue Planet Revisited at #1 and #2 are a reminder that Covid is seriously disrupting this year’s scheduled production of Blue Chip Natural History.
  • The genre will experience a much-reduced pipeline of premium shows that depend on complex field production in distant habitats.
  • To fill the gap, watch out for more and higher quality ‘Backyard Nature‘ programs among featured premieres in 2021-22.
  • And for imaginative deep dives into repackaging the Natural History archive.
ChannelTitle‘000 P 4+Share
1BBC 1Primates4,21116.8
2BBC 1Blue Planet Revisited3,94223.2
3BBC 2Springwatch2,97116.2
4ITVPaul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs2,94413.1
5BBC 1Spy in the Wild2,86211.3
6BBC 1Blue Planet II2,81418.2
7BBC 1Attenborough and the Giant Egg2,26113.7
8ITVTales From the Coast With Robson Green2,0768.8
9BBC 2Winterwatch1,9439.6
10BBC 1Penguins – Spy in the Huddle1,91014.1
11C4 Walking with Elephants1,8998.4
12BBC 2Earth’s Tropical Islands1,8387.5
13ITVHow To Keep Your Dog Happy at Home (photo above)1,7868.3
14C4 Spring at Jimmy’s Farm1,7148.2
15C5Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly1,6488.7
16BBC 2Australia: Earth’s Magical Kingdom1,6447.3
17BBC 2Louis Theroux Americas Most Dangerous Pets1,5839.3
18BBC 2The Lake District: A Wild Year1,5257.6
19BBC 2Natural World1,5187.1
20ITVMartin Clunes: My Travels & Other Animals1,4958.5
21C4 The Secret Life of the Zoo1,4827.6
22BBC 1Seven Worlds, One Planet1,44911.9
23BBC 1Animal Park1,40225.9
24BBC 2The Lakes with Paul Rose1,3978
25BBC 2Baby Chimp Rescue1,2386.6

Notes on the Data

  • The ‘000 P4+’ column refers to viewers 4 years and older in thousands.
  • Share refers to the program’s share of television sets in use at that time.
  • The data refers to highest single episode in a series.
  • The categories come from BARB, and titles are sometimes incomplete.

More on UK Hits and Trends

David Attenborough’s Giant Egg