BBC One’s pilot of Charles Dickens' film version of Bleak House had a terrific start with 6.6 million people tuning in. The peek of the broadcast was at 7.2 million, with an average 6.6 million people watching the hour-long special between 20:00 and 21:00 - that equals a 29% share of the available audience.

The ratings were a promising start for the 15-episode run. The BBC also showed repeats of the pilot and the first half-hour episode on Sundays (starting on Nov 30th, 2005 16:30-17:30 and 18:15-18:45 (GMT)) - these re-runs certainly drew even more people into the dark secrets of Bleak House. Btw. the Thursday 20:00-21:00 (GMT) slot average audience usually is something around about 5.4 million. So Bleak House’s pilot beat that by more than a million viewers. The first episode won the hour's biggest audience across channels.

On that following Friday, the first regular half-hour episode of Bleak House aired, putting in another strong performance on its second outing, attracting 6.5 million viewers and a 29% audience share between 20:30 and 21:00.

Bleak House's ratings proved to remain stable, making Davies' adaptation one of the top-ranking BBC shows over the last weeks. One figure I got for the omnibus episodes seems to indicate that the audience share was around 20%. The BBC decided to re-broadcast the whole series on BBC Four later in December 2005 before the drama will be issued on DVD both in the UK and the USA.

Date Viewers    Audience share Rank 
October 27
6.6 Mio
29 %
1
October 28
6.5 Mio
29 %
1
November 35.6 Mio24 %

2

November 4
5.9 Mio
26 %
1
November 6
(Omnibus) 
 2.9 Mio

-

 -
November 10
5.6 Mio
24 %
2
November 11
6.91 Mio
29.5 %
-
November 13
(Omnibus)
2.6 Mio
20 %
-
November 17
6.3 Mio
27 %
1
November 24
5.0 Mio
21 %
2

November 25

6.12 Mio
---

-

December 1
4.9 Mio
21,8 %
2
December 2
5.99 Mio
26,7 %
2
December 8
5.39 Mio
24,3 %
1
December 9
5.61 Mio
25,5 %
1
December 15
5.2 Mio
 -
2
December 16
5.9 Mio

-

1
December 18
(Omnibus)
2.3 Mio
14 %
-
 

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