The new Fifty Fathoms and Keshet UK series The A Word aired for the first time on BBC One and held an average of 4.7 million viewers, which increased to 5 million in the final 15 minutes. The numbers were double that on ITV1 and Channel 4 and 1.2% above the average annual share for the slot. The show has since become the most the second most-watched on BBC iPlayer.
The impact of the premiere was also demonstrated through social media activity which revealed a nationwide conversation about viewers’ emotional response to the series. As a result “#theaword” became the number two trending term on Twitter in the UK over the course of the hour-long premiere.
The A Word has been selected as one of 12 high-end drama series to make their international debut in front of the world’s drama buyers at the inaugural MIPDrama Screenings on Sunday 3 April. It will be the first of all the dramas to debut at 10:10, at the JW Marriot Hotel in Cannes.
The A Word is written by the multiple BAFTA winner and Golden Globe nominee Peter Bowker (Marvellous, Blackpool) and directed by Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty Rev). It is based on the original Israeli drama Yellow Peppers by Keren Margalit who is also executive producer on the UK series.