UK’s Fabulous 50 Documentaries + Factual, 1H 2016: The Brexit Predictors

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.

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# 2: When Ant + Dec Met the Prince

Here is our Top 50, Documentaries, Factual & Hobbies for 2016 through end of June (in thousands). Plus my quick Takeaways.

Programme Title ‘000
1 BBC 1 Countryfile 8,763
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
8 BBC 1 Masterchef 5,913
9 CH4 Gogglebox 5,774
10 ITV Killer women with piers morgan 5,285
11 ITV Let’s do it: a tribute to vict. wood 5,176
12 ITV The cruise 5,080
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
17 BBC 1 Pompeii 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
49 BBC 2 Winterwatch 3,223
50 CH4 The undateables 3,191

Older Audiences

dogs

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.

History Lives!

  • 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.

Crime Pays

  • 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.

Hidden Hits

  • 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.

Nothing Fresh?

  • 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

koko