J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' Averages 6.6 Million Viewers in BBC Debut

Steffan Hill

The U.K. public broadcaster also averaged 480,000 viewers for the launch of a zombie apocalypse game show on its youth network.

The first episode of the TV adaptation of J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy drew strong ratings for the BBC on Sunday night.

The U.K. public broadcaster said its flagship network, BBC One, averaged 6.6 million viewers in the overnight ratings for the start of the miniseries.

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That made it the highest-rated show in the 9 p.m. time slot for the day, a BBC rep said. Overnights.tv said the audience share amounted to 27.5 percent.

HBO is the BBC's partner on the show based on the Rowling book, which drew positive reviews in Britain. The Independent wrote that "J.K. Rowling's story is a far better drama than it is a book."

Earlier on Sunday night, hit drama Call the Midwife on the BBC drew 8.9 million viewers, continuing to do well in its fourth season.

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On youth-centric BBC Three, which is set to become an online-only network, the first episode of game show I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse averaged 480,000 viewers, for a 2.9 percent share, at 10 p.m. on Sunday. Overnights.tv called that a "decent start," adding that 106,000 people watched a repeat at 12:40 a.m. on Monday.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai