In the annual Christmas TV smack-down, the slapstick Irish comedy beat the Timelord drama.
Hit BBC comedy Mrs Brown's Boys saw off the likes of Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Coronation Street in newly published surprise Christmas Day television viewing figures. The BBC may have been the overall winners in terms of audience share on Christmas Day this year, but Brendan O'Carroll's British-Irish sitcom proved consistently the most popular programme of the day.
'Mrs Brown's Boys' Proved Most Popular On Christmas Day.
The show's Christmas Day special, 'Buckin' Mammy', was Mrs Brown's first broadcast of original content this year and was duly rewarded with its biggest live audience on record: an average of 9.4 million viewers, or 35.5 per cent of the viewer share, peaking at 9.8m (37.9%) in its final five minutes.
Early estimates and social media excitement indicated that sci-fi drama Doctor Who looked set to round-up the largest audience share with its feature-length episode that saw Matt Smith's Doctor regenerate into Peter Capaldi's. Though runner-up in the average ratings, Steven Moffat's climactic episode saw the highest peak of the day in its final five minutes as its 8.29m average shot up to 10.2m people tuning in to witness the eagerly-anticipated regeneration.
The Heart-Racing 'Time Of The Doctor' Episode Drew The Highest Peak Audience Of The Day.
In another surprise Christmas Day viewing statistic, ITV's Coronation Street managed to pull in more viewers than the BBC's Eastenders since 2000 with 8.27m versus 7.8m, according to BARB figures, via Broadcast Now. Such figures mark a more concerning prognosis for the London-set drama which has seen viewing figures fall in a difficult year in the ratings.
Elsewhere, BBC1 drama Call The Midwife triumphed over ITV's flagship drama Downton Abbey which has also seen a slip in ratings this season that wasn't improved by a Christmas special.
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Film-wise, the BBC's airing of touching Pixar adventure Toy Story 3 garnered an impressive 6.3m (40%) in its early evening slot whilst Channel 4's Home Alone 2 screening proved popular for the channel with its share of 2.7m (10.9%) the highest C4 has seen since Christmas Day 2006.
The Top Christmas Day Television Programmes 2013:
1. Mrs Brown's Boys (BBC1) 9.4m (35.5%)
2. Doctor Who (BBC1) 8.29m (30.7%)
3. Coronation Street (ITV) 8.27m (30.7%)
4. EastEnders (BBC1) 7.8m (29%)
5. Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1) 7.3m (35.4%)
6. Call the Midwife (BBC1) 7.1m (30%)
7. Downton Abbey (ITV) 7m (27%)
8. FILM: Toy Story 3 (BBC1) 6.3m (40%)
9. ITV News (ITV) 5.9m (24.2%)
10. Emmerdale (ITV) 5.8m (24.7%)
11. The Queen's Speech (BBC1) 5.7m (36.3%)
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