Seven has nabbed the Australian rights to UK smash hit drama, Mr. Bates vs the Post Office.
The 4 part series was ITV’s biggest new drama in over a decade even beating the Downton Abbey launch.
It is the biggest drama across all UK channels since Line of Duty in 2021, the biggest new drama across all UK channels since Bodyguard in 2018 -and it is ITV’s biggest drama since Broadchurch in 2017.
Including post-7 day viewing, the first three episodes have now all been watched by over 10.6m viewers.
The series drew national headlines, with former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells offering to return her CBE with immediate effect and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak introducing legislation to acquit all those wrongly convicted in the scandal. Anyone who has their conviction overturned will be given an upfront offer of £600,000 (AUS1.16m).
First reported in 2009 by Computer Weekly, the misconduct has drifted in and out of the public consciousness, with a government enquiry beginning in 2020.
But it took linear television to trigger an outpouring of emotion.
Kelly Williams Managing director, commercial, ITV, said, “…it was only when a linear TV drama was broadcast that anyone really sat up and noticed this story. It’s a very timely reminder to our industry of the enduring, unique power of television. Memorable storytelling broadcast to an attentive, mass audience in a trusted, emotionally engaging environment delivers unrivalled effectiveness …”
Reemah Sakaan Chief executive, BritBox International added, “Even in a streaming-led world, little beats the power of linear and live to create a ‘moment’. Rapid groundswells of awareness, simultaneous experiences and reactions are served best by debuting shows on the largest and most easily accessible stage possible.”
Seven plans to screen the series in February.