The Biggest British Show In A Decade Is Coming To Netflix Next Month

Richard Madden Keeley Hawes Bodyguard BBC

Not all British television shows make their way to the United States, but the popular ones that do always seem to make a splash. Doctor Who, Downton Abby, Killing Eve, and others have all found success in the land of opportunity, and Netflix is hoping it's found another as it gears up to premiere a series many Americans may not have even heard of. Nevertheless, Bodyguard has been Britain's most popular show in a decade, and it's primed to do the same in America when it comes to streaming next month.

Beginning Wednesday, October 24, Americans can follow former war hero and London Specialist Protection Officer David Budd (Game of Thrones' Richard Madden) as he is assigned to protect the powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). Bodyguard finds Budd in conflict with his emotions when he struggles with protecting a politician whose ideas he is strongly opposed to and considers to be potentially dangerous to the country's well-being. The six-part drama finds Madden's Budd wrestling with those emotions, and whether or not he should Montague's biggest protector or greatest threat.

Bodyguard has been a huge success in Britain, with Deadline reporting the premiere pulled in 6.7 million in live airing and the total coming to 10.4 million after numbers for on-demand and catchup were added. Those are numbers most cable networks would kill to have, and numbers Netflix is undoubtedly hoping for when it makes its global premiere on the platform. The delayed viewing may be especially pleasing for the content-hungry Netflix to hear, as it sounds like this is the type of buzz-worthy show that will encourage others to pick it up when they hear about it.

The BBC drama closed out its ratings run strong as Bodyguard netted an average of 10.4 million for its 75-minute finale. At its highest point, Bodyguard pulled in 11 million viewers, which accounted for a 47.9% television share. The numbers secured its spot as the biggest new drama the UK has seen in 10 years, a record that it has, reportedly, achieved by a long shot.

As mentioned, popular British shows tend to do well in the United States, so there's reason to suspect Bodyguard will have some success in America. It definitely helps that the drama is led by Game of Thrones' Richard Madden, who still has folks stateside crying over the loss of Robb Stark. Of course, we may never actually know if the series is a hit in the good old U.S.A., given Netflix's secrecy regarding its viewership statistics. Regardless of how it performs, it appears the chances of a Season 2 happening at The BBC are high given its ratings triumph, which means Netflix would probably continue to carry the series no matter how it performs on streaming.

Americans will see how Bodyguard fares when it makes its Netflix premiere Wednesday, October 24, at 12:01 PT. For a look at other fall television shows arriving over the next few months, visit our fall premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.