Sherlock episode scores highest timeshifted audience in UK TV history

New Year's Day episode, The Empty Hearse, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is watched by more than 3.5 million viewers after the episode aired - a new overnight to consolidated viewing record

Sherlock is the year’s most popular programme – in the days after broadcast.


Figures released by the BBC show that 3.54 million people watched the New Year’s Day edition of the programme in the seven days after broadcast – the so-called consolidated figures.

This beats the previous record holder – the Downton Christmas episode from 2011 which was watched by a total of 3.15m million in the seven days after the original transmission.

The New Year’s Day Sherlock episode, The Empty Hearse, was already popular when it first went out with 9.2 million watching the episode as live, the so-called “overnight” figure.

However the consolidated figure can now be confirmed at 12.724m – an increase of over 3.5 million and not yet including the number of views on iPlayer. This could bring the total figure to above 15 million.

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “An undeniable hit, Sherlock breaks record for biggest consolidation increase ever for a TV programme across all channels. It’s a testament to the brilliance of the team involved with Sherlock – original British drama at its finest.”
Sue Vertue, producer of Sherlock, Hartswood Films added: “When we began Sherlock, and it was an instant hit, we thought it couldn’t get better. But each series has outdone the last and this is our biggest rating yet. Trying to believe this is really happening is a job in itself.”

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore added: “I’m very proud to have Sherlock on BBC One and see it topping the charts as the biggest ever consolidated audience ever, it demonstrates that ambition and quality matter to our audience.”