'Sherlock,' 'Top Gear' Lead BBC’s 2014 iPlayer Charts

The season-three opener of the detective show drew 4.2 million U.K. requests on the public broadcaster's on-demand service.

A tussle between Sherlock and Top Gear dominated the chart of most-viewed shows on the BBC’s iPlayer on-demand service in 2014.

The two hit shows claimed the first seven spots in the year’s top 10 rankings of the most requested program’s on the broadcaster’s digital platform, but it was the much-anticipated return of the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring detective drama that took the crown.

Read more Martin Freeman: More 'Sherlock' Would Make Show "Lose a Lot of its Appeal"

Almost 4.2 million iPlayer requests were made in the U.K. for The Empty Hearse, Sherlock’s season-three opener, followed by 3.8 million for the first episode of Top Gear’s 21st season.

"Really thrilling to see Sherlock at the very top of the iPlayer ratings. We always knew he’d survive jumping off that building, but we never thought he’d fly so high!" said Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss in a statement.

Despite arguably its most controversial year on record, Top Gear was the best major performer on the iPlayer overall. The BBC's flagship motoring show claimed the second, third, fourth and seventh spots in the rankings and consistently earned more than 3 million requests.

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Peter Capaldi’s first stint in the Tardis just snuck into the top 10, with the Doctor Who season-eight opener scoring 2.8 million iPlayer requests.

According to the BBC, total TV and radio requests on the digital platform rose to 3.5 billion in 2014, up from 2013’s 3.1 billion and led by a 51 percent increase in tablet views. The year also saw mobile requests rise 32 percent to 662 million.

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