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.

Channel Title ‘000 P 4+ Share
1 BBC 1 Primates 4,211 16.8
2 BBC 1 Blue Planet Revisited 3,942 23.2
3 BBC 2 Springwatch 2,971 16.2
4 ITV Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs 2,944 13.1
5 BBC 1 Spy in the Wild 2,862 11.3
6 BBC 1 Blue Planet II 2,814 18.2
7 BBC 1 Attenborough and the Giant Egg 2,261 13.7
8 ITV Tales From the Coast With Robson Green 2,076 8.8
9 BBC 2 Winterwatch 1,943 9.6
10 BBC 1 Penguins – Spy in the Huddle 1,910 14.1
11 C4  Walking with Elephants 1,899 8.4
12 BBC 2 Earth’s Tropical Islands 1,838 7.5
13 ITV How To Keep Your Dog Happy at Home (photo above) 1,786 8.3
14 C4  Spring at Jimmy’s Farm 1,714 8.2
15 C5 Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly 1,648 8.7
16 BBC 2 Australia: Earth’s Magical Kingdom 1,644 7.3
17 BBC 2 Louis Theroux Americas Most Dangerous Pets 1,583 9.3
18 BBC 2 The Lake District: A Wild Year 1,525 7.6
19 BBC 2 Natural World 1,518 7.1
20 ITV Martin Clunes: My Travels & Other Animals 1,495 8.5
21 C4  The Secret Life of the Zoo 1,482 7.6
22 BBC 1 Seven Worlds, One Planet 1,449 11.9
23 BBC 1 Animal Park 1,402 25.9
24 BBC 2 The Lakes with Paul Rose 1,397 8
25 BBC 2 Baby Chimp Rescue 1,238 6.6

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.

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