Historians writing about 2016 will not, I fear, be kind. The incoherent, fear-fuelled rage against, you know, something, will look immature and foolish to posterity.
In the week that actress Jean Alexander died, it’s appropriate to be thinking about occasions when a show recorded its biggest ever audience.
This week, in a development The Bard might enjoy, a funny and hilariously rude new sitcom from online-only BBC3 did rather nicely on BBC2.
Forces Of Nature With Brian Cox launched on Monday 4 July and achieved 3.9 million/15% after more than 620,000 recorded and watched
BBC1’s new drama The Living And The Dead launched on Tuesday 28 June at 9pm with 4 million/18% after 840,000 recorded and watched.
The most recorded show this week was BBC1’s swashbuckling drama The Musketeers on Monday at 9pm.
The latest series of Top Gear failed to perform a ratings U-turn as consolidated figures showed it closed with 2.6m fewer viewers than Jeremy Clarkson’s last run.
Ben Elton’s BBC2 Shakespeare comedy Upstart Crow ended on Monday 13 June at 10pm with 1.2 million/6% after 412,000 recorded and watched.
ITV2’s 9pm episode of Love Island on 10 June was the show’s most-recorded, with 532,000 watching via PVR to deliver 1.3 million/5%
The second episode of BBC2’s new-fangled Top Gear consolidated to 4.1 million/19% on 5 June at 8pm after 1.2 million recorded and watched
Britain’s Got Talent down but still strong
ITV’s Scandi inspired noir-ish thriller Marcella came to an end on a Tuesday with 6.3 million/ 24% after 1.8 million recorded and watched; the best of the week.
ITV’s two-part series Killer Women With Piers Morgan began on Wednesday 11 May at 9pm with 5.3 million/22% after more than 1.1 million recorded and watched
The final of the latest series of BBC1’s MasterChef consolidated to 5.9 million/25% after more than 900,000 recorded and watched.
Game Of Thrones opens on a high for Sky becoming ‘the most watched Sky entertainment programme ever” with almost 5 million views.
On Thursday 21 April at 9pm, BBC1’s Elizabeth At 90: A Family Tribute consolidated to 7.5 million/ 28% after more than 1.1 million recorded and watched.
Sky 1’s new home-grown drama The Five began on Friday 15 April at 9pm with 1.2 million/5% after 829,000 watched via PVR, slightly behind Stan Lee’s Lucky Man
On Saturday 9 April at 7pm, ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent achieved 9.4 million/43% in live ratings
ITV’s drama The Durrells launched at 8pm on Sunday 3 April with 8.2 million/33% after 1.6 million recorded and watched.
ITV’s Our Queen At 90 did well, but not quite as well as ITV’s Prince’s Trust doc in January
The second series of BBC1’s Happy Valley finished on Tuesday 15 March at 9pm with a whopping 9.3 million/33% after nearly 2 million recorded and watched.
The fourth and final series of ITV’s Mr Selfridge ended with 4.5 million after 1.4 million recorded and watched.
Julian Fellowes’ new ITV drama Doctor Thorne launched on Sunday at 9pm with 5.7 million/20% after more than 1.8 million recorded and watched.
BBC1’s fifth series of crime drama Death In Paradise ended with a consolidated rating of 8.1 million/29% after more than 1.9 million recorded and watched.
BBC1’s adaptation of The Night Manager consolidated to 8.3 million after 2.2 million recorded and watched, only fractionally behind War And Peace’s opener
The reboot of The X-Files achieved 5.1 million/19% for C5 after 1.4 million recorded and watched.
The 19th series of BBC1’s Silent Witness ended with 8.4 million/28% after more than 2.1 million recorded and watched.
The most-watched multichannel comedies and comedy / dramas from the past decade.
Click to discover UKTV’s best-performing comedy / comedy-dramas of the past decade.
Click to see Sky’s most popular comedy / comedy-dramas from the past 10 years.
The opening episode of the sixth episode of Vera performed better than 2015’s series average of 6.2 million, with 3 million ABC1 adults.
The fifth episode of BBC1’s 10-part Silent Witness achieved 8.4 million/ 29% on Monday 18 January at 9pm after 2.7 million recorded and watched.
After a cracking start, BBC1’s Dickensian is showing signs that perhaps 20 episodes might be too many.
Viewers made their choices from the crop of new and returning stuff, and a goodly number of them favoured the familiar.
If January means one thing in TV, it’s that as sure as 2016 follows 2015, the channels will serve up their big dramas to get us through this, the longest of all months.
The most recorded programme of the Christmas week was ITV’s final ever Downton Abbey, which aired at 8.45pm on Christmas Day.
Downton Abbey triumphed in the Christmas Day ratings battle after gaining a record 4m viewers through recorded viewing.
First Dates going steady
The third series opener of the Danish / Swedish thriller The Bridge was the highest-rated episode across all three series and BBC4’s second highest-rated programme of all time.
Lewis saves best till last
Arresting start for BBC1’s Cuffs
Flying start for Sky1 drama
Sky Arts spots a masterpiece
Lewis rescues ITV’s Tuesdays
BBC1’s night to remember
70s sitcom match up
Viewers enjoy taste of Cider
Sluggish start for final Abbey