Wolf Hall brings BBC 3.9m viewers
The adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall has become BBC Two's biggest new drama series for a decade, according to overnight ratings.
The opening episode, screened last night (January 21) - featuring Damian Lewis as Henry VIII - attracted an average audience of 3.9 million viewers, and has drawn a warm response from critics.
It is the highest viewing figure since the channel launched Rome in 2005, although that show was a hard one to match with 6.6 million.
The drama Eric And Ernie drew six million viewers when it was screened in 2011, although the BBC pointed out that it was a one-off film rather than a series.
Wolf Hall is based on Mantel's pair of Man Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.
ITV's National Television Awards, which was also screened last night, had an audience of 6.6 million. Coronation Street, broadcast immediately before the ceremony, had eight million viewers.