Blue Planet II beats Strictly Come Dancing to become most watched TV show of 2017

The year's top 10 shows have been revealed - and the BBC dominates

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/12/2017 - Programme Name: Blue Planet II - TX: 10/12/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). Weighing over half a ton, it is largest turtle on the planet but globally, its numbers have fallen catastrophically. Sir David Attenborough travels to Trinidad to meet a remarkable community that are trying to save these iconic giants. 
  Sir David Attenborough, Leatherback turtle - (C) Gavin Thurston - Photographer: Gavin Thurston

Blue Planet II was the most watched TV show of 2017, beating entertainment programmes Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! to the top spot.


The BBC dominates with a total of seven of its programmes making the top 10 list, while ITV manages to take three places with I’m a Celebrity, Britain’s Got Talent and Broadchurch.

Shirley Ballas, RT shoot, BD

However it was the first episode of the David Attenborough documentary that attracted over 14 million viewers to become the year’s most watched show.

The top 10 most watched TV shows of 2017

1. Blue Planet II: 14.01m (BBC, 29 October)

2. Strictly Come Dancing: 13.01m (BBC, 16 December)

3. I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!: 12.69m (ITV, 19 November)

4. One Love Manchester: 11.63m (BBC, 4 June)

5. Broadchurch: 11.61m (ITV, 17 April)

6. Britain’s Got Talent: 11.51m (ITV, 6 May)

7. Sherlock: 11.33m (BBC, 1 January)

8. Call the Midwife: 10.63m (BBC, 19 February)

9. New Year’s Eve Fireworks: 10.4m (BBC, 31 December)

10. The Moorside: 10.23m (BBC, 14 February)

Overall it’s drama that dominates the list with a total of four shows making the top 10. Three entertainment shows, two live events and one documentary also complete the mix of genres represented in the list.


No programmes from Channel 4 made the top 10, despite the broadcaster’s highly-publicised acquisition of former BBC show The Great British Bake Off.


The 2016 finale of Bake Off was the most watched TV show the previous year when 15.9 million watched Candice Brown win.