Happy Valley Finale Not to Be Missed

Bravo TV One for screening the outstanding Happy Valley on three consecutive nights over two weeks.

The strategy builds momentum and interest in serialised storylines and viewers who are slow to catch on can always catch up on-demand (a pity the box set of season one wasn’t available online, too).

Overnight ratings for the first three episodes were solid and consistent but the real test of the show’s appeal will be in its consolidated viewership, which includes time-shifted viewing as well.

Each of the first three eps finished second in the demographic that matters most to TV One, 25-54: the premiere averaged an overnight 5.4 rating/17.9 channel share, episode two 5.9/17.8 and episode three, 5.6/18.3.

On each night in this demo, Happy Valley finished behind TV2’s dramas and comedies, which had the advantage of My Kitchen Rules as a lead-in, and won its slot in the 5+ demo.

Expect this week’s eps (8.30 Monday-Wednesday) to rate higher on the back of time-shifted and on-demand viewing, and the prospect of what UK reviews promise is a gripping and rewarding outcome.

“The episode overall was terrifically assured, a rare case of a finale proving to be no letdown, and much better than the hostage pay-off that ended season one,” said The Times. “Sally Wainwright’s writing takes it out of you though, doesn’t it?”

The Telegraph called it “an emotionally satisfying and utterly compelling climax – beautifully but unshowily scripted, acted and directed” while The Independent observed: “At its core, Happy Valley reminds us of how wonderfully flawed we all are. A strange sense of optimism prevails despite the misery.

“The drama speaks right to the heart of what it means to be British. The characters muddle on through despite their lot, with the knowledge that a cup of tea can cure a thousand woes. Thank you, Sally Wainwright, for this excellent second series; please write another one soon.”

That seems likely given the finale won its slot in the UK, with an audience of 6.2 million viewers, and the series averaged 6.3 million.

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One Response to “Happy Valley Finale Not to Be Missed”

  1. A great effort for TV ONE considering it doesn’t have the powerful lead-ins of MKR and The Block NZ. Looking forward to this week’s eps.

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