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‘Bodyguard’ Sets Drama Viewing Records in the U.K. Ahead of Netflix Launch

The finale of BBC series “Bodyguard” was the most-watched drama in the U.K. since current records began, and the box-set on the iPlayer is the most popular ever on the pubcaster’s catchup service. Netflix invested in the series and will launch it internationally this week

The series launched strongly in the U.K., where it was the most-watched freshman drama for a decade. It stars Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as David Budd, a war veteran-turned-cop who is assigned to protect a senior politician, Julia Montague, played by Keeley Hawes.

In Britain, the series closer was watched by 17.1 million, the 28-day consolidated numbers show. The number of iPlayer requests for the show is currently at 38 million.

“’Bodyguard’ continues to smash records and thrill new audiences every day via the boxset,” said BBC programming chief Charlotte Moore.

The series was produced by ITV-owned World Productions. It was created by Jed Mercurio, who also made cop drama “Line of Duty,” a previous critical and ratings success in the U.K. He has spoken about “Bodyguard” as a returning series, but there is still no official word on a second season.

“Both juicy in its delving into character psychology and rippingly ready to tear up its playbook as it goes, it’s a six-episode ride that demands, and rewards, a quick binge, and one that is as likely as any of Netflix’s overseas imports to find a breakout audience,” Variety said in its review.

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