'Deutschland 83' Sets U.K. Ratings Record for Foreign-Language Drama

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The first episode of the spy drama, which airs on SundanceTV in the U.S., drew a consolidated audience of 2.5 million, exceeding a previous high set by 'The Returned.'

Critically acclaimed German TV drama Deutschland 83 has become the highest-rated foreign-language drama in U.K. history, British broadcaster Channel 4 said Tuesday, citing a week of consolidated viewing figures.

The first episode of the spy drama, which in Germany airs on RTL and in the U.S. on SundanceTV, had drawn 1.5 million overnight viewers in the U.K., but its consolidated audience hit 2.5 million.

The launch episode of French drama The Returned on Channel 4 in 2013 previously held the record for highest consolidated ratings in Britain for a foreign-language drama with 2.2 million.

Channel 4 is showcasing Deutschland 83 on its new Walter Presents on-demand service for "the world’s best foreign-language drama."

Created by husband and wife team Anna and Jorg Winger, Deutschland 83 has struggled in the ratings in its home market. The series began well, drawing close to 3 million viewers for its premiere, but ratings — at least the linear overnight ones — continued to slide. The season finale pulled just 1.63 million German viewers, despite airing on RTL, Germany's leading commercial network. Because Germany does not publish consolidated audience figures, it is difficult to correctly assess the show's performance there. But its poor overnight ratings mean a renewal by RTL is still very much in doubt.

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