Christmas Ratings: ‘Downton Abbey’ series finale tops ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Call the Midwife,’ more


While watching television is a bit of a tradition in Great Britain on Christmas Day, it is becoming more and more clear that it is not necessarily something that everyone wants to do based on the latest viewing figures.

As a whole, the “Downton Abbey” Christmas Special / series finale brought in 6.6 million viewers, down from its last episode but still enough to make it #1 on the holiday. This figure is more impressive when you consider that not only was this two hours long, but it aired with commercial interruption on ITV. In many ways the BBC has spoiled many by offering programs of the same quality with commercials not a part of the equation.

What was a little more surprising to us was seeing “Call the Midwife” and “Doctor Who” lag so far behind, and to see the two both register 5.8 million viewers. During the season “Call the Midwife” tends to be a much more successful show, and yet “Doctor Who” actually improved significantly on its season average. Maybe some of its gain is due to it being considered by and large a family show, whereas the period “Midwife” drama may be known for being a little too sad for the holiday.

At the moment what we are infinitely curious about is learning what will eventually replace “Downton Abbey” on the ITV schedule with equal ambitions of being an international hit. So far, “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” are really the only two British imports that have posted anywhere near the same sort of ratings.

If you missed it, you can see our review of the last-ever “Downton” over at the link here. Also, sign up right away to have some other TV news on everything we cover sent right over to you, courtesy of our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: ITV.)

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