'Line of Duty' season 6 premiere scores record ratings for drama

Amy Johnson
·2-min read
Line of Duty has come back with a bang. (BBC)
Line of Duty has come back with a bang. (BBC)

Line of Duty's high anticipated return scored a new record for the TV show as it drew in 9.6 million viewers. 

The sixth season of the police procedural drama premiered on BBC One on Sunday in the 9pm timeslot, bringing back stars Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar, and Martin Compston, along with new addition Kelly Macdonald.

It averaged 9.6 million viewers, a peak of 9.8 million and a 44.4% share, making it the biggest overnight rating for a Line of Duty episode, the BBC said.

Read more: Line of Duty season 6 episode 1 recap

It's overtaken the finale of the last series which had an overnight figure of 9.07 million.

Kelly Macdonald has joined the Line of Duty cast for season 6. (BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)
Kelly Macdonald has joined the Line of Duty cast for season 6. (BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)

Despite the impressive figures, it wasn't enough to overtake Oprah Winfrey's interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry which aired earlier this month, which was watched by 11.3 million viewers. 

It's set to be a bumper series of Line of Duty though, as it will have seven episodes instead of the typical six. 

McClure, who plays DC Kate Fleming, recently opened up about one of the show's famous fans. 

DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly MacDonald) - (World Productions/Steffan Hill)
DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly MacDonald) - (World Productions/Steffan Hill)

In an interview with Cosmopolitan she shared her delight that Henry Winkler, aka The Fonz from Happy Days, tunes in

Read more: Line of Duty was originally rejected by BBC, says Jed Mercurio

"We did have The Fonz, aka Henry Winkler, tweet us that he's a fan of the show which was the biggest moment for us all," she said. 

"He's the biggest man on earth. It's gone stateside. And who's cooler than The Fonz? So that's always stuck with me."

With additional reporting by PA.

Watch: Adrian Dunbar and Martin Compston star in Line of Duty season six teaser