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‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Sherlock’ Rule Over Festive Period in U.K.

LONDON — The festive finale of period drama “Downton Abbey” attracted a consolidated audience of almost 11 million in the U.K., where it aired on Dec. 25 on commercial channel ITV.

The two-hour episode drew an initial audience totaling 6.9 million, which gave it a 29.6% share. It has since added 4 million timeshifted viewers.

The Victorian-era special edition of “Sherlock,” which aired on New Year’s Day on the BBC, attracted the biggest live audience of the festive period with 8.4 million viewers. “Sherlock: the Abominable Bride,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, took a 34.7% share.

Scripted shows performed well over the festive period. BBC costume drama “War and Peace” grabbed an audience of 6.3 million on Sunday, a 25% share of viewing, while the public broadcaster’s three-part Agatha Christie adaptation “And Then There Were None” attracted an average 5.5 million viewers.

Comedies and dramas ruled on Christmas Day, and have attracted further viewers since. BBC comedy “Mrs Brown’s Boys” has scored a consolidated audience of 9.49 million, and the broadcaster’s “Call the Midwife” has attracted 9.3 million viewers. Its sci-fi show “Doctor Who” has drawn 7.69 million.

Soaps also pulled large crowds on Dec. 25. The BBC’s “EastEnders” nabbed a consolidated audience of 7.66 million and ITV’s “Coronation Street” attracted 7.27 million.

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