In 2018, BBC iPlayer received requests for 3.6 billion programmes throughout the year.
Among the top ten requested shows per series included Bodyguard, Killing Eve, McMafia, Doctor Who, Keeping Faith, The Cry, Dynasties, Our Girl, Bing and MOTD Live.
“In 2018 we saw people who use iPlayer increasing the amount of time that they spend watching programmes on it,” said Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC.
Set in New Zealand during the 1860s, the series follows British adventurer Ana Wetherell (Eve Hewson) who falls in love with fortune hunter Emery Staines (Himesh Patel), and is plunged into a world of tragedy, mystery and revenge.
The couple must overcome numerous barriers put in their way, particularly from the spiteful Lydia Wells (Eva Green) and rich boy Francis Carver (Marton Csokas).
Inspired by Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad novels, the series follows detectives Rob Reilly (Killian Scott) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene).
It sees the pair attempt to solve the murders of a young ballerina and a vivacious free-spirited woman.
Set during the height of the Celtic Tiger financial boom, the two murders, seemingly unrelated, are revealed to be connected through the cruel elements in both cases.
Series five, which began filming in Manchester last month, sees the devastating effects of the 1929 financial crash. Tommy Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, is now a Labour MP and takes on the responsibility of not just his family, but the electorate as well.
Other new cast members to debut in the Bafta award-winning drama are Brian Gleeson, Elliot Cowan, Charlene McKenna, Andrew Koji, Daryl McCormack, Kate Dickie and Emmet J Scanlan.
The new series takes place after a time-jump of ten years, which fans of the books by Winston Graham (on which the series is based) have been expecting. Horsfield, who has written every episode of the four previous series has a cunning approach to seamlessly weaving in this passage of time.
The drama will pick up in the wake of the shocking death of Ross Poldark’s long time paramour and, latterly, enemy Elizabeth Warleggan.
Halfway through 2018, it already seems clear who some of the leading contenders will be in the actor categories of next year’s Bafta and RTS awards: Benedict Cumberbatch and Anthony Hopkins for their title roles in Patrick Melrose and King Lear, and Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant as Norman Scott and Jeremy Thorpe in A Very English Scandal.
Richard Gere will play charismatic self-made American businessman, Max, who owns media outlets around the world. Helen McCrory will play his long suffering, estranged wife, Kathryn, a British heiress. Billy Howle will portray their 30 year-old son, Caden, who runs one of his father’s UK newspapers and is primed to become one of the most powerful men on the planet. Like father, like son.
Speaking to the RTS in 2017, writer Tom Rob Smith promised "an intense psychological family drama set against the backdrop of power and politics."
Holland outlined the channel’s long history with successful drama programming, commenting: “Blending strong opinions and bold perspectives with brilliant comic voices and finger-on-the-pulse entertainment. Never afraid of provoking, knowing we may upset people along the way… We commission based on passion, on gut feel, on public service purpose”.
Black Earth Rising will explore the prosecution of international war crimes and the West’s relationship with contemporary Africa, through an interracial family with personal experience of genocide.