Royal Wedding & Better Baking: Best British Factual, 2018. The Top 200

The “Best of British” is one of my more popular posts.

I list the year’s highest-rated unscripted programs, usually to honor UK producers in time for their PACT party at Realscreen.

For a different look at 2018, I combined the Documentary, Factual, Lifestyle & Current Affairs categories, showing the best single episode for series.

It’s not exactly chalk and cheese, but the data is highly informative.

I’m busy in Mexico City, so my Takeaways are brief. And excuse the lower case show titles. More to come…

TOP 10: SHARE

  • The Harry / Meghan wedding earned a whopping 62.9 share of the audience that was actually watching TV at the time!
  • In 2017, Blue Planet topped my list with 14 million viewers and a 45.8 share.
  • Here is the UK Top 10 for 2018, measured by Share (Individuals 4+):
Channel Programme Title Share ‘000
1 BBC 1 The royal wedding: harry & meghan 62.9 8,916
2 ITV This morning (Oct 12) 44.6 3,156
3 BBC 1 Queen’s Christmas message 38.2 5,556
4 CH4 Great british bake off 38.1 9,937
5 BBC 1 The apprentice 32.6 7,296
6 BBC 1 Countryfile royal special: Windsor 32.4 4,687
7 BBC 1 Dynasties 31.3 8,060
8 BBC 1 Question time 29.6 2,805
9 BBC 1 Bargain hunt 28.5 2,769
10 BBC 1 Countryfile royal special: Sandringham 28.4 4,908

Formats score: Spy in the Snow

AUDIENCE 2018: TOP 100 + TAKEAWAYS

Here is the 2018 #1-100, measured by Individuals 4+.

  • Royals always find a way to dominate! (#2, 5, 7, 11, 13 in the Top 20 alone.)
  • Natural History is strong, though lagging a bit versus versus previous years.
  • Wildlife leaders are:
    • Attenborough’s Dynasties (#3 / 8.1 Mn)
    • Pets specialist Paul O’Grady’s Love of Dogs (#15 / 5.3 Mn).
    • The BBC’s Blue Chip Spy in The Snow (#20 / 5.1 Mn) extends the “Spy” franchise.
    • Attenborough scores again with Giant Sea Dragon  (#25 / 4.9 Mn).
  • With Netflix investing heavily in Super- Blue Chip projects, often led by BBC-trained creatives, the BBC faces a challenge to retain its dominating wildlife audience.
  • The Great British Bake Off finale earns 10 Mn viewers, plus great #’s for Celebrity and Christmas spinoffs.
    • Its audience is even more notable because C4 is not one of the two main channels.
  • It makes me happy to see the BBC’s under-appreciated anchor franchises Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow consistently pull Top 10 rankings and spin off successful specials.
  • The “Spinoff” deserves a separate Takeaway:
    • The global video conversation has shifted to binge-able scripted series.
    • Broadcasters and Cab / Sat channels must mine their strong franchises for compelling spinoffs that offer efficient development, production and promotion.
  • The Anything-But-Royal History genre takes a knock: It’s a long way to # 43 for RAF at 100.
  • The creative juice driving the imaginative Occu-soaps that marked recent decades seems to have run dry.
    • Heathrow is at #34.
    • It is followed closely by Ambulance which is well-regarded for its special access.
  • Gogglebox slips from 5.5 Mn viewers in 2017 to 4.4 Mn.
    • It’s been a while since British creatives came up with such an innovative hit format.
  • The Science genre seems to need fresh vision: Wonders of the Moon leads at #40.
  • The True Crime genre seems to lack the intense interest shown by U.S. video consumers.
  • And note the strong showing for Current Affairs programs, reflecting our troubled times.
  • Weight Loss is an expanding category as big personal health issues speak to viewers in the Lifestyle category.
  • Hosted Travel and DIY are well represented, too.
  • Final thought: I’m always very envious of the range and creative quality of British unscripted programs.
Channel Programme Title ‘000 Share
1 CH4 The great british bake off 9,937 38.1
2 BBC 1 The royal wedding 8,916 62.9
3 BBC 1 Dynasties/Attenborough 8,060 31.3
4 BBC 1 The apprentice 7,296 32.6
5 BBC 1 The coronation 6,899 25.6
6 BBC 1 Countryfile 6,492 26.7
7 ITV The queen’s green planet 6,356 25.3
8 ITV The real full monty: ladies’ night 6,327 28.1
9 BBC 1 Masterchef 6,089 25.0
10 BBC 1 Antiques roadshow 6,082 27.9
11 BBC 1 Prince, son and heir: charles at 70 5,996 26.0
12 CH4 Great celebrity bake off  5,678 23.4
13 BBC 1 The queen’s christmas message 5,556 38.2
14 ITV Gordon, gino and fred: road trip 5,320 23.7
15 ITV Paul o’grady: for the love of dogs 5,272 24.2
16 BBC 1 Antiques roadshow WW1 Special 5,264 27.4
17 ITV The real full monty: live 5,223 23.8
18 BBC 1 Who do you think u are? 5,221 25.6
19 BBC 1 DIY SOS: the big build 5,219 22.5
20 BBC 1 Spy in the Snow 5,085 25.2
21 BBC 1 Big cats 5,026 22.0
22 BBC 1 Celebrity masterchef 4,965 24.4
23 ITV James bulger: a mother’s story 4,932 19.5
24 BBC 1 Countryfile royal special: Sandringham 4,908 28.4
25 BBC 1 David attenborough  / giant sea dragon 4,860 18.9
26 BBC 1 Countryfile royal special: balmoral 4,827 26.1
27 BBC 1 The real marigold hotel 4,801 23.3
28 BBC 1 The one show 4,709 20.8
29 BBC 1 Countryfile royal special: windsor 4,687 32.4
30 BBC 1 The truth /getting fit 4,594 19.2
31 ITV Tonight 4,585 19.5
32 ITV Britain’s busiest airport – Heathrow 4,544 25.0
33 CH4 Gogglebox 4,433 17.5
34 BBC 1 Ambulance 4,398 20.5
35 ITV The martin lewis money show 4,357 17.9
36 BBC 1 Fake or fortune? 4,283 18.8
37 BBC 1 Diy sos: grenfell 4,062 19.5
38 ITV Death row 2018  4,039 15.7
39 ITV Queen of the world 4,033 19.6
40 BBC 1 Wonders of the Moon 4,022 15.3
41 BBC 1 Animals with cameras 4,021 18.7
42 BBC 1 Reported missing 3,953 17.1
43 BBC 1 RAF at 100  3,925 16.5
44 BBC 1 Britain’s fat fight with hugh fearnley 3,909 17.1
45 ITV The cruise: mediterranean 3,898 17.1
46 BBC 1 The apprentice: you’re hired 3,886 25.9
47 BBC 1 Eat well for less? 3,882 20.7
48 ITV Paul o’grady’s little heroes 3,870 21.2
49 ITV What would your kid do? 3,861 17.9
50 ITV Joanna lumley’s silk road adventure 3,844 18.5
51 CH4 The great festive bake off 3,829 13.4
52 CH4 The great christmas bake off 3,828 13.3
53 BBC 1 Shop well for less? 3,802 19.8
54 ITV The cruise: voyage to alaska 3,802 14.7
55 ITV Long lost family 3,764 17.8
56 ITV Paul o’grady love of dogs xmas 3,760 17.1
57 ITV President trump – piers morgan 3,719 21.9
58 ITV Serial killer with piers morgan 3,709 15.7
59 ITV Britain’s favourite dogs: top 100 3,694 15.6
60 BBC 1 The truth about carbs 3,684 19.2
61 BBC 2 Masterchef: the professionals 3,684 18.1
62 BBC 1 Watchdog 3,677 17.1
63 BBC 1 Earth’s natural wonders 3,676 14.7
64 ITV The real camilla: hrh the duchess 3,675 15.6
65 ITV Parachute murder plot 3,657 14.9
66 BBC 2 They shall not grow old 3,653 18.6
67 ITV Children who kill 3,653 14.7
68 CH4 24 hrs in police custody 3,652 17.4
69 ITV The martin lewis money show live 3,651 16.1
70 ITV Sir cliff richard: 60 years 3,629 16.9
71 ITV How to spend it well at christmas 3,626 15.5
72 ITV Long lost family: what happened next 3,613 15.6
73 ITV The cruise: sailing the caribbean 3,587 14.9
74 BBC 2 Tom kerridge: lose weight for good 3,520 14.0
75 ITV Billy connolly’s ultimate world tour 3,495 18.0
76 ITV Paul o’grady love of dogs: india 3,487 16.4
77 BBC 1 The truth about looking good 3,455 14.7
78 CH4 Gogglebox: celebrity special 3,453 16.3
79 ITV Love your garden 3,395 18.6
80 ITV Royal wedding: family celebration 3,387 15.8
81 ITV Paul o’grady for the love of dogs 3,378 19.0
82 BBC 2 Royal wedding: highlights  3,369 18.6
83 ITV 100 years younger in 21 days 3,364 14.8
84 BBC 1 A hotel for the super rich and famous 3,361 15.1
85 BBC 1 Drowning in plastic 3,331 14.9
86 ITV Police tapes 3,323 15.3
87 ITV The investigator 3,323 14.2
88 BBC 2 Dragons’ den 3,321 16.7
89 BBC 2 Top gear 3,315 11.7
90 BBC 1 Christmas shop well for less? 3,304 15.7
91 ITV Harry meghan: 1st tour 3,293 14.1
92 ITV Royal wives of windsor 3,275 13.5
93 ITV A & E live 3,273 15.0
94 ITV Harry: four royal weddings 3,270 14.5
95 CH4 Celebrity hunted 3,268 15.9
96 Channel 5 Michael Palin N korea 3,263 15.4
97 BBC 1 Boots: pharmacists under pressure? 3,212 14.2
98 ITV Invitation to a royal wedding 3,211 14.1
99 BBC 2 Princess margaret: the rebel royal 3,194 15.0
100 CH4 Escape to the chateau at Christmas 3,181 13.7

 

The Great British Bake Off

AUDIENCE: TOP #101-200

  • And here is 2018’s Top 101-200 Factual, including Documentaries, Lifestyle and Current Affairs. (Individuals 4+)
Channel Programme Title ‘000 Share
101 ITV Trevor mcdonald and the killer nurse 3,176 12.8
102 BBC 1 Miriam’s big american adventure 3,174 12.8
103 ITV This morning 3,156 44.6
104 ITV Gino’s italian coastal escape 3,152 14.5
105 BBC 1 Indonesia tsunami appeal 3,148 24.6
106 ITV Rachel nickell: the untold story 3,116 14.7
107 ITV Save money: good food 3,107 14.5
108 BBC 2 Inside the factory 3,105 13.9
109 BBC 1 Fake britain 3,104 15.5
110 BBC 1 Taking on putin: panorama 3,103 15.4
111 BBC 1 rhs chelsea flower show 3,096 23.8
112 ITV Coronation street’s dna secrets 3,056 16.1
113 ITV Good evening britain 3,051 14.2
114 ITV Britain’s best walks  3,027 12.6
115 ITV This morning – 30 unforgettable years 3,027 13.0
116 BBC 1 Home from home 3,011 14.9
117 BBC 2 Billy connolly: made in scotland 3,006 12.7
118 BBC 1 Inside out 3,001 14.1
119 BBC 1 Panorama: millionaire bankrupts 2,996 12.2
120 ITV The fast fix: diabetes 2,984 13.3
121 BBC 2 Gardeners’ world 2,950 13.6
122 CH4 The island with bear grylls 2,931 11.4
123 BBC 1 Antiques road trip 2,908 20.1
124 ITV Harold shipman: doctor death 2,906 12.9
125 BBC 2 A house through time 2,897 10.9
126 ITV Am i a murderer? 2,885 12.3
127 ITV 100 year old driving school 2,880 13.4
128 ITV Britain’s busiest motorway 2,871 12.5
129 BBC 1 The truth about obesity 2,862 13.4
130 CH4 Hunted 2,860 11.0
131 CH4 24 hours in a & e 2,856 12.5
132 BBC 1 Nightmare pets sos 2,853 14.8
133 BBC 2 Surgeons: at the edge of life 2,851 10.3
134 CH4 The bulger killers: was justice done? 2,821 10.4
135 ITV Best of the palladium 2,807 14.3
136 BBC 1 Question time 2,805 29.6
137 BBC 1 The royal wedding 2,804 17.6
138 BBC 1 Celebrities on the nhs frontline 2,794 12.3
139 BBC 1 Money for nothing 2,786 25.6
140 CH4 Grand designs 2,780 11.2
141 ITV Long lost family christmas reunion 2,771 12.1
142 BBC 1 Bargain hunt 2,769 28.5
143 ITV River monsters 2,769 12.5
144 ITV Best walks with a view 2,768 17.6
145 BBC 2 Grizzly bear cubs and me 2,755 12.6
146 BBC 1 Elephants on the move 2,743 14.8
147 BBC 1 The sheriffs are coming 2,742 12.0
148 BBC 1 Panorama – trump voters: one year 2,738 11.2
149 ITV Ross kemp and the armed police 2,738 12.8
150 BBC 1 Aretha Franklin: respect 2,722 16.6
151 ITV The kyle files 2,717 11.9
152 BBC 2 Inside the christmas factory 2,711 11.2
153 BBC 2 Trust me, i’m a doctor 2,703 10.5
154 CH4 Prison 2,699 11.9
155 CH4 First dates at christmas 2,699 11.2
156 CH4 Sas: who dares wins 2,695 9.6
157 BBC 1 Panorama: britain’s equal pay 2,692 13.1
158 BBC 1 River walks 2,690 13.7
159 ITV £10k holiday home 2,690 14.8
160 BBC 1 Blue planet ii: oceans of wonder 2,681 16.7
161 ITV Eat, shop, save 2018 2,677 14.9
162 BBC 1 Hs2: going off the rails? – panorama 2,675 12.5
163 ITV Devon & cornwall cops 2,665 13.0
164 BBC 2 Travels in trumpland with ed balls 2,652 9.9
165 BBC 1 Panorama: white fright: divided britain 2,649 11.1
166 BBC 1 Stephen: the murder 2,649 12.8
167 CH4 Escape to the chateau 2,645 10.2
168 BBC 2 Dragons’ den: pitches to riches? 2,644 12.0
169 BBC 2 The mediterranean with simon reeve 2,624 10.8
170 ITV Britain’s favourite walks: top 100 2,622 11.4
171 CH4 Married at first sight 2,621 12.3
172 ITV Emmerdale 1918 2,620 13.3
173 ITV How to spend it well: house and garden w 2,599 13.9
174 BBC 1 The universal credit crisis: panorama 2,597 12.9
175 CH4 Celebrity island with bear grylls 2,594 9.0
176 ITV Griff’s great britain 2,593 13.1
177 BBC 1 The queen: her commonwealth story 2,590 10.3
178 ITV Bear’s mission with warwick davis 2,584 11.5
179 CH4 The £1 houses: britain’s cheapest street 2,583 10.1
180 BBC 1 Panorama: immigration: who? 2,581 12.8
181 BBC 2 Hospital 2,578 10.3
182 ITV Harry and meghan – the royal wedding 2,570 18.2
183 ITV To catch a serial killer 2,566 12.1
184 ITV Judge rinder’s crime stories 2,556 12.6
185 ITV Countrywise 2,543 11.6
186 BBC 2 Flatpack empire 2,536 11.3
187 CH4 First dates: valentine’s special 2,531 11.0
188 CH4 Guy martin: the world’s fastest van? 2,522 11.0
189 BBC 2 Autumnwatch new england 2,519 11.6
190 Channel 5 Celebrity big brother 2,510 13.7
191 ITV Love your garden: nhs special 2,506 13.4
192 ITV The queen’s coronation in colour 2,493 10.5
193 BBC 1 Flog it! 2,485 18.2
194 BBC 1 Lorry ladies 2,481 14.0
195 BBC 2 Winterwatch 2,472 11.3
196 ITV The murder of rhys jones: police tapes 2,470 11.0
197 ITV The detectives: the farmhouse robbery 2,468 11.5
198 BBC 1 The island that saved my life 2,453 13.4
199 BBC 1 Rip off britain 2,449 13.1
200 ITV Love your home and garden 2,448 10.4

Source: BARB