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By Stephen Price | 19 January 2024


Series finale is the first drama episode to reach eight figures since Happy Valley

This year got off to a bit of a bang, with the government, the Post Office and Fujitsu all nervously tugging at their collars, mostly because of one of the biggest TV dramas in recent times.

While Mr Bates vs The Post Office had some pre-TX viewing, it was mostly watched on TV as it unfolded. Hats off to writer Gwyneth Hughes for humanising a story that has been reported on for years but never quite prodded the powers that be to take much notice.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office launched on ITV1 on New Year’s Day at 9pm and played over four consecutive nights. The series opened with 3.6 million/26% in overnights, rising to 3.7 million/26% for the 4 January finale and averaging 3.5 million/23%. After seven-day catch, that average more than doubled to 8.2 million/35%. With devices (252,000) and pre-TX (800,000), it reached a huge

9.4 million.


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