'Hogfather' brings Sky One holiday cheer


LONDON -- Sky One scored its highest-ever ratings for a homegrown show with Sunday night's airing of seasonal fantasy fairytale "Hogfather."

The two-part drama, based on the novel by Terry Pratchett, won an average of 2.6 million viewers, peaking at 2.8 million.

Underlining the increasingly strong ratings performances on digital networks, "Hogfather" was the fourth highest-rated U.K. show across all networks, beating Channel 4 and Five in its slot.

Sky's heavy promotion of the family drama that aired at 8 p.m. paid off, earning a debut audience higher than that of "Doctor Who" spinoff "Torchwood," the year's biggest digital channel launch to date.

"Hogfather," which stars David Jason, was Sky One's second-highest rated show to date, beaten only by an episode of "Friends" that aired six years ago. Sky One expects "Hogfather's" final audience numbers to eclipse the "Friends" episode when repeats and PVR recorded episodes are included in the ratings tally.