As we talk about some of the ratings for New Year’s Day across the board, there are some clear takeaways — including some surprising news for Doctor Who.
Related Video – If you missed it, check out our take on the Doctor Who New Year’s Special at the bottom of this article! You can also subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for some other updates and TV scoop.
First and foremost, there’s a lot here to celebrate if you are a fan of Luther. The Idris Elba series last night drew a total of 5.6 million average viewers, making it the most-watched episode of the night and posting one of the series’ stronger ratings as a whole. This was a great start that both cements the star power of one Idris Elba and also showcases just how strong programming can be on this days. While 5.6 million may not be an earth-shattering rating, it’s still very strong for Britain given their total population. (If a US series had the shame audience share that this one did, it would be considered a generational hit.)
What is so interesting here is that many in the media who are so eager to praise Luther are quick to bury Doctor Who for posting close to 5.2 million viewers for its special. We do get it, to a certain extent. “Resolution” is the lowest-rated holiday special since the BBC started doing these in the modern era, though the vast majority of these were all at Christmastime. We do think that there is something to that when trying to explain the ratings drop. There’s no tradition to have a Doctor Who special on New Year’s Day and we think the move hurt the show. It may have also hurt the show that the conclusion to season 11 wasn’t all that long ago and because of that, viewership may have been a little less engaged. It’s still a solid rating, though it’s not going to get the same fanfare just because there have been some specials in the past that have generated as much as more than double this rating.
We’ll see what the ratings for Luther prove themselves to be for night two, which is airing tonight on BBC One. (It will be coming to America eventually, but no premiere date has been set as of yet.) Meanwhile, you’re going to have to wait until 2020 in order to see Doctor Who season 12. We wouldn’t be particularly shocked if there was a Christmas Special at the end of the year (despite not having one this time), which is really the one thing that we could see being slightly different about the show this year.
What do you think about the Doctor Who – New Year’s Special ratings for BBC One? Be sure to share some of your thoughts on the subject right now in the comments. (Photo: BBC.)