When the BBC released a new show 20 years ago viewers had to patiently wait each week for the latest installment.
But as viewers crave instant fixes with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime supplying binge-watching for the masses, dramas on BBC and ITV are being shown as two-parts before resuming the normal weekly format.
As record numbers tuned in to watch the latest BBC drama Bodyguard, the BBC are set to capitalise on ratings by hooking people in by showing the second episode the day after the first aired.
Boyd Hilton, Entertainment Director at Heat Magazine, said the tactic is terrestrial TV’s response to on-demand services such as Netflix. “Viewers enjoy the thrill of watching an exciting high-end drama as it goes out,” he says, “but they have to address the Netflix issue, without releasing all of the series in one go”.
“If a good old-fashioned TV channel like the BBC can get 7 million viewers it shows live TV isn’t dead.”
The new six-part series starring Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden debuted on Sunday night at 9pm to an average overnight rating of 6.7 million and an audience share of 35%, the BBC said.
The programme peaked with 6.9 million viewers.