Channel 5 had its best year since 2009, helped by a range of new factual and drama shows and an increase in upmarket viewers.
Overall, Channel 5’s share of viewing increased by 5%, boosted by an 11% increase in primetime viewing. Among its viewers, there was a 7% increase of viewers in the upmarket ‘ABC1’ demographic.
The Drowning and All Creatures Great and Small drove drama viewers to Channel 5. With 5.1 million viewers, The Drowning became Channel 5’s most watched programme of the year. Factual shows Our Yorkshire Farm and Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild also scored highly with viewers.
The 7pm and 8pm slots attracted their highest ever share of viewing according to the broadcaster, picking up viewers switching over from BBC and ITV soaps. In 2021, popular early evening shows included Gardening with Carol Klein, Susan Calman’s Grand Days Out and Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland.
My5’s best year so far
Channel 5’s on-demand platform My5 saw its best performance for the second consecutive year. 2021 saw a 36% increase in the number of streams and a 31% increase in time spent viewing the service.
The Drowning was My5’s best-ever performing title, echoing its success on the linear channel. Inside Chernobyl with Ben Fogle is My5’s best performing documentary of all time, closely followed by The Disappearance of Shannon Mathews and Lost Boy: The Killing of James Bulger.
Ben Frow, Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS Networks UK, said:
“I’m pleased that 2021 was Channel 5’s best year ever, with success on the linear channel mirrored on My5. We’ve built on our factual successes and reached new viewers by continuing to elevate our drama slate, with stand-out shows like All Creatures Great & Small driving ratings success. It’s clear that a combination of drama, alongside talent-led factual programmes taking