Line of Duty promoted to BBC1 for two more series

Filming on season four of acclaimed police corruption drama to begin in the autumn after it broke ratings records

Acclaimed BBC2 drama Line of Duty is to switch to BBC1 for two more series after it broke ratings records with more than 5 million viewers.

The fourth and fifth series of the Jed Mercurio police corruption drama, starring Martin Compston and Vicky McClure, will air on BBC1 after three series on BBC2.

The third series, which featured Keeley Hawes and Daniel Mays, ended last week with 5.6 million viewers.

It averaged more than 5 million viewers across its five-part run, toppling Wolf Hall as BBC2’s biggest drama since modern ratings methodology was introduced in 2002.

The BBC’s controller of TV channels and iPlayer Charlotte Moore said: “Line of Duty is original, bold, gripping drama that gets the nation talking and the time is right to bring the series to an even broader audience on BBC1.

“Jed Mecurio’s explosive thriller will find a new home on BBC1 for two more series and create room for new drama to flourish on BBC2.

“Thanks to Jed, [independent producer] Simon Heath’s World Productions, and Stephen Wright at the BBC for producing the record-breaking show.”

Moore, who took over direct responsibility for BBC2 following the exit of its controller Kim Shillinglaw, has indicated that there should be more factual programmes on BBC2, which has become best known in recent years for dramas including Wolf Hall and Top of the Lake, as well as Line of Duty.

Former BBC Trust chair Lord Patten said earlier this week that it was “ridiculous” that Wolf Hall had been shown on BBC2 and not on mainstream BBC1.

Line of Duty attracted 4.1 million viewers for its first series in 2012, dipping to 3.4 million for series two in 2014 and climbing to more than 5 million for its most recent run.

It becomes the latest in a long line of shows to switch from BBC2 to BBC1 after their audiences outgrew the second channel, including The Great British Bake Off, The Apprentice, MasterChef and Miranda.

Panel game QI has the rare distinctive of switching from BBC2 to BBC1 – and then back again.


John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Line of Duty outranks Wolf Hall to take BBC2 ratings crown
Police corruption drama has attracted nearly 5 million viewers this series – and could pull in even more with its 90-minute finale

John Plunkett

28, Apr, 2016 @11:03 AM

Article image
Line of Duty nicks top spot as 4 million watch finale
BBC2 police series beats ITV and BBC1 as 20.6% share of audience catches last episode of channel’s biggest ratings drama

John Plunkett

29, Apr, 2016 @9:36 AM

Article image
Thandie Newton to star in Line of Duty series four
Crash and Pursuit of Happyness actor to join Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar in BBC police corruption drama

Dugald Baird and agencies

24, Aug, 2016 @3:41 PM

Article image
BBC2's Line of Duty to return for second series
Channel's biggest new drama for eight years finished with more than 3m viewers. By John Plunkett

John Plunkett

25, Jul, 2012 @3:03 PM

Article image
BBC censured over violent Line of Duty scene featuring child actor
Programme breached broadcasting rules over duty of care for a 13-year-old actor, says media regulator Ofcom. By John Plunkett

John Plunkett

17, Dec, 2012 @12:05 PM

Article image
Line of Duty clocks highest audience as 3m tune in to see if Keeley Hawes did it
BBC2 follows climax of police drama with premiere of comedy about the corporation, W1A, starring Hugh Bonneville. By Tara Conlan

Tara Conlan

20, Mar, 2014 @12:35 PM

Article image
BBC's Line of Duty to feature Mrs Biggs star Daniel Mays
Series three of police corruption drama to feature actor, who also appeared in Ashes to Ashes, alongside Vicky McClure and Martin Compston

John Plunkett

16, Mar, 2015 @9:26 AM

Article image
Filming of BBC's Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty postponed
Decision about popular shows comes as TV production grinds to halt amid coronavirus crisis

Mark Sweney

16, Mar, 2020 @12:18 PM

Article image
Line of Duty season finale is UK's most watched TV show of 2019
Extended episode of BBC drama peaks at 9.6 million viewers in overnight ratings

Jamie Grierson

06, May, 2019 @10:44 AM

Article image
Line of Duty gets call for third series
BBC2 police corruption drama featuring Keeley Hawes has increased ratings since start of six-part run in February. By Tara Conlan and Maggie Brown

Tara Conlan and Maggie Brown

19, Mar, 2014 @2:13 PM