It’s always a pleasure to share my semi-annual report card on the top-rated UK documentary and lifestyle programs.
I enjoy the compelling diversity and quality of the UK industry.
Here are the Top 60 Documentaries, Lifestyle & Current Affairs programs for UK through June 30, 2017 (in thousands).
|2||BBC 1||Antiques Roadshow||6,506|
|4||BBC 1||Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum + Dad||6,345|
|5||BBC 1||Spy in the Wild||6,218|
|6||BBC 1||Antiques Roadshow Holocaust Memorial||6,076|
|7||BBC 1||The Real Marigold Hotel||5,999|
|8||BBC 1||Our Friend Victoria||5,397|
|9||ITV||The Real Full Monty||5,362|
|10||BBC 1||Who Do You Think You Are?||5,242|
|12||BBC 1||DIY SOS: The Big Build||4,824|
|13||BBC 1||The Truth About Sleep||4,704|
|14||BBC 1||The One Show||4,670|
|15||BBC 1||Panorama: Madeleine McCann: 10 y||4,474|
|16||ITV||Britain’s Busiest Airport Heathrow||4,309|
|17||BBC 1||The Met: Policing London||4,224|
|18||ITV||Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia||4,222|
|19||ITV||The Cruise: Sailing the Mediterranean||4,216|
|21||BBC 1||Shop Well for Less?||4,104|
|22||BBC 1||Eat Well for Less?||4,095|
|24||BBC 1||Reported Missing||4,051|
|25||ITV||The Martin Lewis Money Show||4,004|
|26||BBC 1||Week the Landlords Moved In||3,982|
|27||BBC 2||The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway||3,908|
|28||BBC 1||Supermarket Shopping Secrets||3,861|
|29||BBC 1||Italy’s Invisible Cities||3,859|
|30||ITV||Sugar Free Farm||3,840|
|32||BBC 1||Spy in the Wild: Meet the Spies||3,784|
|33||BBC 2||Top Gear||3,767|
|34||BBC 1||East Africa Crisis Appeal||3,635|
|35||ITV||Britain’s Best Walks / Julia Bradbury||3,619|
|36||ITV||Save Money: Good Health||3,559|
|37||ITV||Long Lost Family: What Happened Next||3,524|
|38||BBC 1||Britain On The Fiddle||3,459|
|39||BBC 1||The Truth About Stress||3,451|
|40||ITV||Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs||3,419|
|41||ITV||Killer Women with Piers Morgan||3,407|
|42||BBC 1||The Sheriffs Are Coming||3,400|
|44||BBC 2||Great Pottery Throwdown||3,345|
|45||ITV||Love Your Garden||3,290|
|46||BBC 1||Call the Midwife: The Casebook||3,234|
|47||ITV||Devon & Cornwall Cops||3,206|
|48||BBC 1||Planet Earth II: A World of Wonder||3,174|
|49||ITV||Lady Lucan: Time For Truth||3,165|
|50||ITV||Tales from the Coast with Robson Green||3,144|
|51||BBC 2||The RHS Chelsea Flower Show||3,135|
|52||BBC 2||Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby||3,127|
|53||ITV||Prince Philip: 70 Years of Service||3,114|
|54||ITV||The Kyle Files 3||3,097|
|55||ITV||Unbelievable Moments: Caught on Camera||3,075|
|56||BBC 2||The Day the Dinosaurs Died||3,045|
|57||CH4||Titanic: The New Evidence||3,000|
|58||ITV||Save Money: Good Food||2,992|
|59||BBC 2||Mary Berry Everyday||2,981|
|60||BBC 2||Gardeners’ World||2,966|
The list combines BARB’s Documentary, Hobbies / Lifestyle
and Current Affairs categories.
- Many of us saw Brexit predictors in the nostalgia-packed 2016 UK Hits List.
- There was no big royal birthday or wedding this year.
- It was left to Prince Phillip (#53) to deliver the HRH-loving audience. (However, I expect that the Princess Diana anniversary will change that for the FY2017 score card.)
- The rural magazine Countryfile tops the chart, despite losing around 1 million viewers vs the 2016 peak.
- But is 2017 a Jeremy Corbyn predictor?
- Maybe work-related topics are popping a bit?
- For example, hit shows covered airport, hotel and police operations.
- There are lots of “Austerity Survival” guides, Eat Well For Less and Shop Well For Less (#21, #22), Supermarket Shopping Secrets (#28), Save Money: Good Food (#58), and Save Money: Good Health (#36).
- And anxiety indicators: The Truth About… Sleep (#13), and …Stress. (#39).
- And The Week The Landlords Moved In (#26) challenges owners to live with their renters’ budgets.
Celebrity / Pop Culture
- Retired football star Rio Ferdinand (#4), comedian Victoria Wood (#8) and programs inspired by The Full Monty (#9), The Real Marigold Hotel (#7) and Call The Midwife (#46)…
- … They are reminders of the evergreen appeal of factual shows inspired by celebs and legendary TV programs or movies.
- The Rio Ferdinand special earned acclaim as “an uncompromising, soul-baring examination of grief and in particular its effect on men.”
Natural History / Wildlife
- The BBC’s Spy in The Wild (#5) reveals the UK’s lasting love of wildlife programs.
- Spy In The Wild: Meet the Spies (#32) highlights how the Natural History audience delights in getting behind the scenes to learn about the amazing kit and fieldwork devised by production teams.
- The 4-day “Live event” Winterwatch (#43) drew a peak of 3.4 Mn viewers to an inventive blend of Live feeds from Dorset, fixed cameras and pre-produced packages.
- Reversing 2016 results, true Natural History programs nudge out popular pet shows, topped by Paul O’Grady’s Love of Dogs (#40).
- The BBC’s Galapagos (#20) was launched from the Alucia research vessel.
- When I was engaged by the Dalio Foundation on a strategic plan for Alucia Productions, I set in motion the Alucia’s use as the platform for David Attenborough’s hit Great Barrier Reef series, earning the credit of Development Executive.
More on Genres…
- Brits love the Travel genre, which barely has a pulse in the U.S.
- Crime seems to be popping in the UK as in the U.S., including cold case specials on Madeleine McCann and Lady Lucan.
- Italy’s Invisible Cities (#29) shows that 360 imaging can carry a hit show in a year that the History genre isn’t delivering.
- Antiques Roadshow ranks #2 behind Countryfile:
- AR’s highest-rated episode gained 400,000 viewers over 2016.
- And a hit Holocaust Memorial special added to the franchise’s decades of achievements.
90 is The New 30
- Specials on Prince Philip (#53) and Mary Berry (#59) are a reminder that the ageing UK broadcast audience loves its Golden Oldies.
- Here are the average ages of viewers for:
- BBC1: 61
- BBC2: 62
- ITV: 60
- Channel 4: 55
- Channel 5: 58
- The UK production and programming community itself is ageing:
- The grey hair stands out a bit more each year at our conferences and markets.
- Younger creatives are drawn to online platforms.
- Maybe that partly explains the noticeable lack of originality among these hits?
- Also: Read my post on Sam Barcroft’s WCSFP Stockholm presentation about the viewing habits of UK young (16-24) vs all viewers.
Americans: Take Notes!
These UK hits are earning closer study by U.S. programmers:
- Channels like Nat Geo, Discovery and History are commissioning more quality, documentary-style factual programs after their audiences grew tired of Reality.
- Shrinking audiences for the U.S. networks translates into budget pressures, and therefore more opportunities for UK co-productions, acquisitions and format sales.
- Meanwhile, Netflix and Amazon are expanding their UK operations, and that means sourcing more global factual content from the UK production community.
Original Analysis for Documentary Producers & Executives
Opportunities, Success Factors & Deal Terms
for Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Vimeo and other OTT/VOD Platforms
Original analysis from DocumentaryTelevision.com with
distributor Kinonation’s Roger Jackson
Read More Here.
Download Now: $39.95