The latest in a crop of modern UK dramas to hit big with audiences, BBC One’s small town infidelity/revenge drama Doctor Foster recently concluded its five-episode run with an average weekly audience of 8.2M. That makes it the highest-rated of any new UK TV drama this year, across all channels, the BBC said over the weekend. There is currently no U.S. broadcaster, but I’m told discussions are underway with BBC Worldwide on sales. Check out the trailer above.
Much as the initial runs of successful series like the BBC’s Happy Valley and ITV’s Broadchurch, Doctor Foster held Britons rapt through its conclusion last week which scored a consolidated audience of 10.1M viewers and a 37.4 share. That’s the 2nd-best BBC drama installment of the year after the network’s Call The Midwife..
The drama is created by Olivier Award winning playwright Mike Bartlett whose King Charles III is due to bow in its Broadway transfer on November 1. Bartlett’s TV credits include 2012 ITV mini The Town with Sherlock‘s Andrew Scott. Doctor Foster is produced by Drama Republic (An Inspector Calls, The Honourable Woman) and stars Suranne Jones (Coronation Street, Scott & Bailey) and Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) as Doctor Gemma Foster and her husband Simon.
Gemma is a respected GP who’s the heart of her village. When she suspects Simon has been having an affair, she’s determined to find out the truth and thrusts herself into an investigation that will propel her, her family, and even some of her patients, into chaos.
A lead-in on Wednesday nights from hit cooking program The Great British Bake Off was surely a ratings boost with the show scoring a wide demo. However, the BBC noted it was a particularly big hit with younger viewers. Critics also responded favorably — The Guardian called it “a brilliant and gripping portrait of a marriage slowly being poisoned.” It’s being tipped for awards, but a decision has yet to be made as to whether there will be a second season.
The original commission was made by BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore and former BBC Drama chief Ben Stephenson who’s now running the TV division of JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot.