It's A Hit

The Promised Land smashes ratings records!

17 April, 2020

It's always a tense feeling when new Red Dwarf goes out into the world. But at around 11pm last Thursday, all we could really say to sum it up was this:

The headline news for The Promised Land, as reported by Broadcast, was that the overnight viewing figures showed it to be the most watched show on Dave for almost four years. An average of 980,000 viewers tuned in across the two-hour slot, peaking at just over a million. At a time when overnight viewer numbers are generally dropping on a year-to-year basis, The Promised Land actually got over a quarter of a million more viewers than the first episode of Series XII did back in 2017!

Those numbers are even more impressive when looked at in terms of audience share. On average, Red Dwarf attracted a 5.7% share for its slot - hugely above average not just for Dave, but for any non-PSB channel (that is, all the ones that didn't used to be on terrestrial). It's a higher share than any episode from Series XI or XII, and comes close to the 6.3% achieved by Trojan all the way back in 2012. Even more remarkably, by the final 15 minutes, the share had risen to 6.8% - meaning more people were watching Dave than every other channel aside from BBC One and ITV.

And those are just the overnight figures, showing people who immediately watched in that original Thursday night, 9pm slot. They don't take into account timeshifting on PVR, viewers on Dave ja vu, people who watched the weekend repeat, or those who streamed on UKTV Play. We'll be looking out keenly to give you those "consolidated" figures in the coming weeks...

And we were delighted to see that these figures have been matched by an outpouring of positive fan reactions to the special - we had a go at keeping up with some of them over at @RedDwarfHQ, but with the show reaching #2 on the UK's trending topics you'll forgive us for having missed a few!

Another treat on Twitter was the art department's Matthew Clark taking a huge deep dive through the process behind various things you saw on the show - with lots of brilliant never-before-seen photos and close-ups. Start here for the beginning of the thread, and prepare to lose half your day to it!

You can also find out more about the behind-the-scenes process courtesy of this feature in Broadcast. Plus, of course, there's the brand new making of documentary - which is available now over on UKTV Play along with the special itself, plus deleted scenes and smeg ups! And if you want to find out how and when to get your hands on the special on shiny disc, then step right this way.

Phew. So all in all... well, like we said: it seemed to go quite well. Now, who's going to be the first to ask us what comes next...?

Catch up on Red Dwarf: The Promised Land on UKTV Play!

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