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Jed Mercurio's 'Line of Duty' finale lands record ratings

The final episode of Jed Mercurio's Line of Duty was watched by an average of 12.8 million viewers on Sunday night, a record for the hit show. The BBC said it was the most watched episode of any drama since modern records began in 2002, although that does not include soaps. The finale commanded 56.2% of the UK's TV audience, according to overnight figures. The five-minute peak audience was 13.1 million, between 21:45 and 21:50, which was the end of the interrogation of the "fourth man/woman", and its aftermath. The last time a TV drama got higher overnight viewing figures was an episode of ITV's long-running police drama Heartbeat in February 2001, which had an overnight audience of 13.2 million.

The show - which first aired in 2012 - was created by British writer Jed Mercurio, and stars Martin Compston as DI Steve Arnott, Vicky McClure as DI Kate Fleming. and Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings and Kelly Macdonald as DS Joanne Davidson. Charlotte Moore, BBC's chief content officer said: "Addictive event television, Line of Duty has kept the nation guessing for the last seven weeks, so it's no surprise that last night's jaw dropping finale set a ratings record. Jed Mercurio is a master of his craft, and I would like to congratulate him and the entire cast and crew for delivering such an incredible drama series. I'm looking forward to having a conversation with the team about where we go next and what the future of the series might be."

Click here to watch Line of Duty on BBC iPlayer. 

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