Downton Abbey falls, Doctor Who rises in UK Christmas ratings

Did Matthew Crawley's death in the 2012 Christmas Special keep "Downton Abbey" fans away in 2013?
Posted By Gabrielle Levy  |  Dec. 26, 2013 at 11:20 AM
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Christmas Day television experienced a bit of an upset this year, with regular ratings champs taking a tumble in favor of bawdy comedy Mrs. Brown's Boys and a big moment of transition for Doctor Who.

Brits settling in on the couch for the slew of Christmas specials Wednesday opted for the Scottish comedy -- to the tune of 9.4 million -- over traditional ratings winners EastEnders and Coronation Street.

Matt Smith's swan song as the Eleventh Doctor and the introduction of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth won the night for most-watched moment, with 10.2 million viewers flipping to BBC One for the anticipated regeneration. The rest of the hour averaged 8.3 million viewers. The long-running sci-fi jumped from fifth, with 7.6 million viewers last year, to take second overall.

Last year's top program, EastEnders grabbed 7.8 million for fourth place, falling from 9.4 million last Christmas. It was even beaten out by Coronation Street, which tied with Doctor Who with 8.3 million viewers, down from 8.8 million last year.

Downton Abbey slipped two spots to eighth, pulling in 6.6 million viewers for its two hour special, a year after it gave Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) an inglorious sendoff last Christmas.

In fact, more people turned to the Queen's Christmas broadcast (7.5 million), Strictly Come Dancing (7.3 million) and Call the Midwife (7.1 million).

[Evening Times] [BBC]

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