Sally Rooney’s breakout drama Normal People was the BBC’s most-streamed series of 2020, racking up 62.7M views since launching in April to help iPlayer to a record-breaking year.
The Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal-starrer’s best performing episode generated 6.4M requests as viewers in the UK were transfixed by the textured love story between Marianne and Connell.
The BBC said iPlayer has motored past 5B requests in a year in which streaming has gone stratospheric thanks to people cozying up in front of the television as the pandemic howls outside.
That figure includes streaming up until the end of November, meaning December — and a likely glut of festive viewing — is yet to be counted. Still, iPlayer’s 5.3B requests is 33% ahead of the same period last year.
It’s difficult to compare Normal People’s 62M views to any competing limited series, given other streamers cut their viewing figures in all kinds of different and opaque ways.
Having said that, Netflix revealed last month that The Queen’s Gambit became its best-performing scripted limited series after being watched by 62M households. It’s a different metric to views, but a coincidence that it’s the same figure.
The only show that came close to Normal People on iPlayer was Killing Eve with a total of 39.3M views for Season 3.
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