Viewers crown UKTV Originals their favourite shows on the network in 2018

Taskmaster on Dave

Taskmaster on Dave

Friday 4 January 2019

  • UKTV Originals topped 2018 ratings on six of UKTV's channels - Dave, W, Gold, Drama, Yesterday and Really - and on UKTV Play
  • Top three shows on UKTV's network were UKTV Originals - Taskmaster, Death on the Tyne and Murder on the Blackpool Express
  • Emmy and BAFTA nominated Taskmaster was the most watched show on UKTV's free on demand service, UKTV Play, followed by UKTV Originals Judge Romesh and Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier
  • UKTV Play saw a 36% increase in views year-on-year, generating over 140 million views in 2018 and attracting 1.8 million registered users

UKTV's commissioning strategy continues to bear fruit with UKTV Originals driving younger viewers to UKTV Play and remaining the most watched programmes on the network in 2018.

Darren Childs, UKTV CEO, said:

Our strategy of creating distinctive, ambitious and compelling new shows is continuing to pay off. I'm incredibly proud that for the first time, UKTV Originals were the top rating shows on six of UKTV's channels and on UKTV Play last year. The breadth and depth of our channels offer a rich mix of opportunities for advertisers, and UKTV Play, which generated over 140 million views and attracted 1.8 million registered users in 2018, provides a data rich environment for targeted advertising.

UKTV Originals and Channels

In 2018 UKTV worked with more independent producers than ever before and produced or developed over 120 new shows. The broadcaster built on its commissioning success with UKTV Originals becoming the most watched shows on six of UKTV's channels - Taskmaster (Dave), Emma Willis: Delivering Babies (W), Death on the Tyne (Gold), Murder on the Blackpool Express (Drama), Abandoned Engineering (Yesterday), Inside the Ambulance (Really).


Death on the Tyne

Death on the Tyne on Gold

On Dave, UKTV's biggest commissioning channel, four out of the top five shows were UKTV Originals - Taskmaster, Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier, Judge Romesh and Zapped. Taskmaster was also the most popular show across the network with the most recent series (seven) becoming the most successful to date, with an average of 1.5 million viewers per episode.

W's commissioning strategy continues to mature and new UKTV Original, Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, was the most watched show on the channel in 2018 (753k). It was followed by Inside the Ambulance which continues to attract a high number of viewers (386k for series three and 359k for series four).

Yesterday grew its share by an impressive 11.4%. and UKTV Original, Abandoned Engineering, was the most popular show on the channel.

Richard Watsham, UKTV's Director of Commissioning, said:

UKTV is increasing investment into originations yet again and in partnership with top talent, both in front of and behind the camera, it's enabling us to strengthen our catalogue of popular and critically acclaimed shows.

"This year our aim is to grow original output even further with a series of network firsts. Flack, our first full blown drama series premieres on W in February. We'll shortly be in production for a number of crime dramas for Alibi, and Steve Backshall will bring high octane specialist factual to Dave with the stunning Expedition.

"We want to build on our strong talent relationships too, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over kicks off a revitalized slate for W which still has slots to fill and on Dave we're looking for female fronted comedy entertainment shows to compliment other high performing hits, led by Taskmaster."

TV On Demand

In 2018, UKTV Play continued to grow and had 140 million views across all platforms - a 36% increase on the previous year. In less than 12 months since mandatory registration was introduced, over 1.8 million users have signed up to the service, a third of whom are aged 16-34.

UKTV Originals were the most popular shows on UKTV Play with episodes of Taskmaster, Judge Romesh and Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier taking the top three spots. They also appealed to a young demographic with 69% of registered viewers who watched Taskmaster being aged 16-34, 45% for Judge Romesh and 63% for Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier. In addition, Yianni Supercar Customiser, drew in a large 16-34-year-old audience with 68% of viewers falling into this age range.

In 2018, UKTV also increased distribution of its on demand service. UKTV Play launched on Now TV and Roku streaming players, Freesat, Samsung TV and Go Media.


Brand new programmes coming to UKTV this year include W's scripted drama Flack, starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin, and a six-part series with Stacey Dooley, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over. Dave sees the return of scripted comedy Porters, now as a full six-part series and with the original cast joined by the BAFTA nominated actor, Daniel Mays. Sliced, a new three-part comedy series written by Samson Kayo and Phil Bowker follows in the first half of this year, along with a ten-part adventure series, Expedition with Steve Backshall, as well as new series of Taskmaster and Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier. And, Sir David Jason presents his own travelogue - David Jason: Planes, Trains & Automobiles on Gold.



Expedition with Steve Backshall on Dave

Stats Measurement

All data BARB Adults 16+ except programme data which is individuals.

Top performing programme lists are consolidated viewing, BARB consolidated ratings includes catch-up, or time-shifted viewing that happened up to seven days after the original broadcast.

Programme viewing stats are all Total Consumption unless otherwise stated. Total Consumption is the measurement of all viewing to a single premiere linear transmission of a show. It encompasses the overnight, PVR, VOD, D2C and paid, narrative repeats within seven days of the broadcast window, and the 8-28 day PVR viewing within BARB.

UKTV Play figures include third party broadcasters and UKTV's own platform data.

UKTV Play top rating episodes are for the UKTV Play direct to consumer service.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Goode, Head of Network Comms, UKTV
Ali Laurie, Network Comms Exec, UKTV

About UKTV
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching almost 40m viewers every month.

The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.

The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Studios and Discovery, Inc. - is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list. | | @uktvpress