Mr Bates vs. the Post Office has become ITV’s biggest new drama in over a decade, even beating the launch of Downton Abbey in 2010, according to figures supplied by ITV.

The ITV Studios and Little Gem series has now averaged 9.8m viewers across its four episodes, including seven day viewing across all devices plus pre-TX viewing.

5. Mr Bates

Mr Bates vs. the Post Office

The first episode of the drama launched on New Year’s Day. It is based on the real-life story of postmaster Alan Bates, played by Toby Jones, who drove the campaign to expose the Post Office Horizon IT scandal. It has sparked renewed press interest in the scandal, paving the way for more postmaster convictions to be overturned.

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Including post-seven day catch up viewing, the first three episodes have now all been watched by over 10.6m viewers, with the launch currently averaging 10.9m after ten days of catch up.

ITV said it is the biggest drama across all channels since Line of Duty series six on BBC One in 2021 and is the biggest new drama across all channels since Bodyguard on BBC One in 2018.

The broadcaster also said it is ITV’s biggest drama since Broadchurch in 2017 and that the four episodes are the most watched programmes on any channel so far this year.

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