There are only a few days till 2023 comes to an end and we welcome the New Year of 2024.
So it’s no wonder that many are already thinking back on their best and most memorable TV moments from the last year.
From the King’s Coronation to The Great British Bake Off, Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, there were plenty of fan-favourite shows that had viewers glued to their screens and on the edges of their seats.
Fans of Happy Valley, which concluded its critically praised third and final season earlier this year, may be startled to discover that it did not top the list of the most-watched TV shows in 2023.
Seven of the entries in the BBC’s latest assessment of the top ten most-watched shows this year across all broadcasters and streamers, including the Eurovision Song Contest and Planet Earth III, were distributed by the firm.
The crowning of King Charles III and Queen Camilla received the highest average attendance of 12.8 million people.
Happy Valley followed, with 11.9 million viewers tuning in to watch Sarah Lancashire’s stunning comeback as Sergeant Catherine Cawood in Sally Wainwright’s criminal drama.
The Eurovision Song Contest finished third this year in Liverpool, after Sam Ryder finished second for the UK in 2022 behind Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra.
Mae Muller, the UK’s 2023 entry, placed second to last, while Loreen won for Sweden for the second time with her strong track Tattoo.
Fans of The Great British Bake Off were ecstatic this year when Alison Hammond joined the show as a presenter, succeeding Matt Lucas, who opted to quit the Channel 4 series.
Her debut undoubtedly helped to the season’s popularity, since it drew an average of 9.7 million people, however the article emphasised that this related to 28-day statistics, and following episodes aren’t included because it hasn’t been 28 days since they aired.
I’m A Celebrity followed, which provoked outrage when it was learned that former Ukip leader Nigel Farage had been cast for a rumoured cost of £1.5 million.
Despite widespread calls to boycott the ITV programme, it nevertheless drew an average viewership of 9 million viewers, according to seven-day statistics, with the BBC stating that 28-day data is not yet available.
Planet Earth III finished sixth with an average of 8.9 million viewers, albeit, like with Bake Off, the complete 28-day statistics is not yet available.
Strictly had an average viewership of 8.5 million people, according to the survey, with Death in Paradise coming in eighth with an average audience of 8.3 million.
What were the top 10 most watched TV shows of 2023?
According to the BBC report, here are the results of the average audiences, with some not yet including the full seven-day or 28-day data:
Finally, by the end of the year, Unforgotten and Wild Isles had both averaged 8.2 million viewers.
According to the survey, the Women’s World Cup attracted a peak of 12 million viewers this year, while Ghosts was declared the largest comedy of the year with an average audience of 4.9 million.
‘Only the BBC can provide such scope, individuality, and ambition,’ said BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore of the findings.
‘Our range of world-class programmes is unrivalled, we’ve delivered value to audiences and they’ve chosen the BBC in every genre.
‘We are facing tough financial challenges, and while we are not unique in this, what’s impressive is that despite all the millions being spent on global platforms, we’ve had an extraordinary year creatively.’