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Richard Madden, Keeley Hawes Drama ‘Bodyguard’ Is Biggest U.K. Drama Launch Since 2006

Bodyguard” has stellar launch ratings to protect as it continues its run on BBC One in the U.K. The pubcaster has heralded the series opener as its biggest new drama, and best scripted launch on any U.K. channel, since 2006.

The U.K.-set series stars Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as a war veteran turned cop, assigned to protect a senior politician, Keeley Hawes (“Upstairs, Downstairs”), whose politics he despises. The show generated a consolidated viewing figures of 10.4 million, with a 40.9% share. In the coveted-after 16-34 demo, it won 1.2 million viewers.

The BBC said Tuesday that the first episode also broke records on its iPlayer catch-up service with 2.2 million requests in its first seven days and three million requests to date. The pubcaster has made the first three episodes of the six-part drama available on iPlayer. The figures make the series the number one U.K. drama of 2018.

The show was created by Jed Mercurio who is also the showrunner. It is made by World Productions, the U.K. producer behind another of Mercurio’s hit series, “Line of Duty,” and which was bought by ITV last year.

“The success of ‘Bodyguard’ is a tribute to the magnetism of our two leads, Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes,” Mercurio said. “I’m exceedingly grateful to World Productions and to the BBC who have supported the project throughout production, and to the viewers who’ve responded with such enthusiasm.”

ITV Studios sells the series internationally.

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