It might be only a couple of episodes into its run, but Blue Planet II is already breaking records.
The BBC show, narrated by the unmistakeable voice of Sir David Attenborough, has wasted little time becoming the most-viewed UK TV programme of the whole year.
Only two broadcasts have attracted more viewers in the last five years: the 2014 World Cup final and the 2016 Great British Bake Off final, won by Candice Brown.
Indeed, Blue Planet II topped the charts with its first episode, according to The Guardian.
The 14.1 million viewers it drew in is not even that far away from the top 20 most-viewed shows of the last 25 years, while the 10.8 million who saw Episode 2 will surely put it in the top five for 2017 once repeats and catch-up viewings are added to the tally.
The series opener overtook June’s One Love Manchester concert (11.6 million) as the most-viewed of the year, based on data from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB).
23 September’s episode of Strictly Come Dancing is the only other broadcast to attract more than 11 million viewers between January and September this year, though an October episode topped 12 million, while two episodes of Call the Midwife also crossed the 10 million threshold.
However, both Blue Planet II episodes have been watched by more people than any show in the entirety of January, February, March, April, May, July and August.
It surely shouldn’t come as a surprise to see so many tuning in to Blue Planet II, considering the level of praise it received just for its cinematic-quality trailer featuring music from Radiohead and Hans Zimmer.
For reference, the Attenborough-narrated Planet Earth II attracted between 11.1 million and 13.1 million for each of its six episodes last November and December.
Earlier this year, Sir David admitted memory issues are making it harder to put these expansive shows together, with the entire process taking a lot longer from start to finish.
Still, we have a lot more to look forward to throughout the show’s current run.