BBC Telecast of 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special Delivers 8.29 Million UK Viewers, 'Downton Abbey' 7.01 Million

Categories: 1-Featured,UK TV Ratings

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December 26th, 2013

Doctor Who CHristmas 2013

Unlike the United States, where non-sports television takes Christmas off, the UK features high profile original programs on December 25. This year's  Doctor Who Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor, featuring Matt Smith's final appearance as the doctor, was the second highest rated program in England on Christmas Day. The special, which aired on BBC, garnered 8.29 million UK viewers,  up from 7.59 million for last year's Christmas special. We will post the ratings for the BBC America United States telecast of the program as soon as they are available.

The Downton Abbey Christmas special garnered 7.01 million viewers on ITV. It won't be telecast in the United States for months; the fourth season premieres January 5 on PBS.

The highest rated Christmas program in England was an episode of the comedy Mrs. Brown's Boys which scored 9.4 million viewers.


  • Charmed

    @craiguk most people I know have either Sky or Virgin Media. I have Virgin and I don’t want or have sports, I only want it for the things like Living, Sky 1, etc. that air US shows. But then, I’m pretty different from the rest of the people in the UK.

  • craiguk


    As I said, the majority get it for the sports, I think I read somewhere that over 70% of people who subscribe wouldn’t do so if sports wasn’t offered.

  • Tom88

    Wow, those ratings are so impressive considering the UK has a population a fifth of the size of the US. Unlike us Americans, the British do enjoy watching more TV than us.
    Strangely, the highest rated night of TV in the UK is Saturday, whereas for us, that’s the lowest rated night of TV.

  • UKTVFan

    Huge ratings for Doctor Who on BBC America Christmas night:

    8pm: Farewell to Matt Smith — 1.543 million viewers / 0.7 demo
    9pm: The Time of the Doctor — 2.472 million viewers / 1.0 demo

    The Time of the Doctor topped The Day of the Doctor by a slim margin (2.472 million vs. 2.431 million) to become the highest-rated single telecast in BBC America history.

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