An average audience of 7.9 million viewers tuned in to see the third and final part of Sherlock series two last night, 30 per cent of all television viewers at that time. The Reichenbach Fall, which aired between 9pm and 10:30pm on BBC1 and BBC1 HD, enjoyed a peak audience of 9 million.
Sherlock series two, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, has delivered consistently good ratings for BBC1 in 2012. Overnight figures show episode one, A Scandal in Belgravia, delivered 8.8 million viewers (a 30 per cent share) on New Year's Day. The second instalment, The Hounds of Baskerville, was seen by 8.2 million viewers (29 per cent share) a week later. Despite a slight decline in the viewing figures as the series has gone on, BBC bosses will be pleased that the audience share of the programme remained so high.
In addition, early iPlayer figures suggest Sherlock has impressed on the BBC's catch-up service, too - with more than 800,000 people requesting episode one in the 24 hours after it was broadcast.
And despite the end of Sherlock it looks like BBC1 have another Sunday-night ratings winner to replace the super sleuth's power to draw viewers. Call the Midwife, which premiered last night, attracted 8 million viewers (a 27.5 per cent share) between 8pm and 9pm.