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

The season finale of the police corruption drama Line of Duty was watched by 9.6 million viewers, the biggest overnight TV rating of the year so far.

In an extended 90-minute episode that arguably presented more questions than answers, Supt Ted Hastings – played by Adrian Dunbar – who spearheads the anti-corruption unit AC-12, was subject to a lengthy grilling as detectives strived to identify a mysterious “bent” police officer known as “H”.

Created and written by Jed Mercurio, who was also behind the hit series Bodyguard, and starring Martin Compston and Vicky McClure, the episode ended the show’s fifth season.

The BBC said it was “the biggest overnight rating for the series ever and the most watched show of the night across all channels, as well the biggest overnight rating of the year so far”.

The episode peaked with 9.6 million viewers, with an average audience of 9.1 million and a 44.1% share. The figures made it the most popular programme of 2019 so far, based on overnight figures, the BBC said.

The drama series originally started on BBC Two and a sixth season has been ordered by the BBC.

In the latest season, the This Is England actor Stephen Graham delivered a widely praised performance as John Corbett, a conflicted undercover officer embedded in an organised crime gang. The series is noted for its guest stars, with actors Thandie Newton and Keeley Hawes delivering similarly lauded performances in previous seasons.

The BBC’s director of content, Charlotte Moore, said: “Over the past six weeks, Line of Duty has kept the whole nation on the edge of their seats, so it was fantastic to see such a big audience for Sunday’s finale.

“I’d like to thank all the cast, Jed Mercurio … and the whole team at World Productions for delivering such a fantastic series.”


Jamie Grierson

The GuardianTramp

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