“The channel delivered a slate of high-quality new drama that attracted massive audiences”

ITV’s programming in 2018 was powerful and popular – an outstanding combination that won plaudits as well as ratings. Its seven-day consolidated share soared by 8% to overtake BBC One for the first time since 2010.

The channel delivered a slate of high-quality (and probably slightly underappreciated) new drama that attracted massive audiences.

Innocent and Trauma (pictured) were both stripped with amazing results and built on returning banker Vera and word-of-mouth grower Unforgiven to complete a consistent slate that delivered on every level.

In terms of fact ent, the Real Full Monty franchise was top of the class. The men’s version was complemented by Ladies Night, winner of this year’s Best Popular Factual Programme and a celebratory tear-jerker that impressed our judges.

Gambling on England’s progress beyond the group stages at the World Cup also paid off handsomely, with bumper audiences that included a 26.6 million peak for the semi-final versus Croatia.

There were plenty of other successes too, with an extra Corrie on Wednesdays and the resurrection of Dancing On Ice and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? leading the way.

The latter two were part of yet another stellar ITV entertainment slate, with Saturday Night Takeaway shrugging off the loss of co-host Ant McPartlin for the latter part of its run to land Best Entertainment Programme.

Meanwhile, Lost Voice Guy’s victory on Britain’s Got Talent felt like a significant moment for on-screen disability and encapsulated the feel-good quality that characterised ITV’s year.




Best Drama Series winner A Very English Scandal was among the creative highlights for BBC One, while mega-hit Bodyguard attracted viewers on an almost unprecedented scale.

Meanwhile, Strictly Come Dancing stepped out as stylishly as ever and the finale of Peter Kay’s Car Share felt like one of the year’s defining comedy moments.


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The push on authored pieces paid off in spades, with highlights including Hospital, Generation Gifted, Being Blacker, The Funeral Murders and The Mighty Redcar.

Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life delivered the channel’s highest AI score of the year (92) and was rated BBC Two’s most distinctive programme ever, while Travels In Trumpland With Ed Balls and The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan were breakout fact-ent hits.


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Strong factual and comedy slates have defined BBC Three, and 2018 was no exception, with the likes of Life And Death Row, Stacey Dooley Investigates, Drugsland, The Young Offenders, Man Like Mobeen and This Country all exceeding 1 million views per episode on iPlayer alone.

Killed By My Debt, the latest in the channel’s much-lauded factual drama slate, has the distinction of winning two categories: Best Multichannel Programme and Best Single Drama.


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An enviable slate of factual and fact-ent returners – First Dates, The Island, Hunted and SAS: Who Dares Wins – all grew their reach and were boosted by some startling fresh successes.

Jack Thorne’s gripping drama Kiri was C4’s biggest drama series launch since records began in 2002, while Best Comedy Programme winner Derry Girls feels like the most important new scripted comedy in years.



More originations, more upmarket viewers and a first Bafta award – it was a great year for Channel 5. Under Ben Frow’s leadership, the broadcaster has established channel-building bankers such as Cruising With Jane McDonald, reputational pieces such as The Accused and dipped its toe into scripted.

Even more progress lies ahead.

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