The season finale of Call The Midwife, pushed back half an hour to 8:30pm, pulled in a record 9.2m viewers Sunday night, making its first season the most-watched new drama series on BBC One in over a decade, the broadcaster said Monday.
With two 9m rating evenings in February -- 9m tuned in 5 February -- the show ended its first season with an average of 8.7m viewers per episode, a record under the current measurement system, dating to 2001.
Call The Midwife was well above 1930's drama Upstairs Downstairs in ratings Sunday, with the latter drawing 6.5m viewers.
BBC One controller Danny Cohen said, in a statement:
Heidi Thomas and Neal Street have brought a new kind of grit and risk to period drama. It's been wonderful to see viewers respond so warmly -- and in such large numbers -- to this world of babies, nuns, and extraordinary women.
In Sunday's season finale, midwife Camilla Cholomondely-Browne, known on the show as Chummy and played by Miranda Hart, married despite disapproval from her mother.
The 1950's drama based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth will return to BBC One's Sunday night line-up for a second season.
Read Rachel Cooke's New Statesman review of Call The Midwife here