‘Happy Valley’ Finale Takes 7.5M On BBC One – Deadline


BBC One’s finale of BAFTA-winning crime drama Happy Valley took 7.5 million viewers last night in the UK.

The ratings, from Barb data from overnights.tv, make Happy Valley the highest rating show of 2023 so far and one of the biggest in recent BBC drama history. The figures equate to a share of nearly 42%.

The six-part series began last month and aired in the coveted 9pm BBC One slot that the likes of Line of Duty have previously inhabited. The finale numbers will balloon further as on-demand viewing takes over in coming weeks.

The third and final season came to an end with star Sarah Lancashire’s police sergeant Catherine Cawood’s long-running cat-and-mouse game with psychopath rapist Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) came to an end.

Season three came seven years after the ending of the previous run. The series’ popularity in the UK has led to flocks of visitors to Hebden Bridge, the northern English town where the show is set. The show’s first two season have been available on Netflix internationally for several years. 

BBC Studios-owned drama house Lookout Point makes the show, with creator and writer Sally Wainwright and Lancashire among the executive producers.

Happy Valley end comes at the beginning of a new venture for Lancashire, who has teamed with husband and former BBC and Banijay UK boss Peter Salmon to launch Via Pictures.

Details logged at British business directory Companies House show the pair are directors of the new production business, which is based in Manchester. The company quietly launched in January.

Lancashire’s credits include Coronation StreetClocking OffLast Tango in HalifaxKiri and Julia. Salmon was most recently Executive Chair of Banijay UK, having been Chief Content Officer of Endemol Shine Group before Banijay took it over. He was also a long-serving BBC channels and BBC Studios exec and has worked at other influential British production firms such as Television Corporation. 

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