'Downton Abbey' U.K. Holiday Special Falls to Second Spot in Consolidated Ratings

Dan Stevens Matthew Crawley Downton Abbey S2 - H 2012

Dan Stevens Matthew Crawley Downton Abbey S2 - H 2012

The drama's audience dropped by 1.3 million from last year when it was the top-rated Christmas show including time-shifted viewing.

BBC soap opera EastEnders remained the most-watched show on British TV on Christmas Day when combining its live audience and one week of time-shifted viewing.

Downton Abbey on ITV1 came in second on a consolidated basis after ranking at the top of last year's Christmas shows in the U.K. on that basis, the Guardian reported. The ratings data from audience measurement firm BARB meant that EastEnders retained the rank it had reached in the overnight Christmas ratings this year, while Downton Abbey jumped from the sixth spot in the overnight data.

EastEnders was watched by 11.2 million people when adding time-shifted viewing to the average overnight audience of 9.4 million.

Downton Abbey reached 10.3 million on that basis. The consolidated audience for the costume drama was down about 1.3 million viewers from the 2011 holiday special, which had gained 3.5 million  additional viewers from time-shifting. Downton had averaged 7.3 million in the overnight ratings this year.

BBC's Call the Midwife had the most time-shifted viewing this year, with an additional 2.9 million viewers. That boosted it to the second place in the consolidated ratings with 10.15 million viewers.

The Royle Family and Doctor Who also edged out Downton in the consolidated viewer figures.

The only Christmas Day show that made the top 10 both years without losing viewers was a Strictly Come Dancing special on the BBC. It had a total of 9.1 million viewers, up from 8.5 million last year.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai