Channel 4 drama Kiri, featuring acclaimed actress Sarah Lancashire, has already become the most-watched drama in the channel’s history.
Channel 4 released viewer statistics last week that revealed that Kiri was watched on average by a huge 4.9 million viewers. The show has also become the most watched drama on All4, C4’s on-demand service, taking in half a million views per episode.
Kiri has beaten records previously held by Humans, which took in audiences of 4.7 million.
“Dramas like Kiri – British, topical, complex and illuminating – are exactly the kind of dramas we want to make at Channel 4 and we are thrilled that they’re able to find such a huge and engaged audience,” said C4’s head of drama, Beth Willis.
“We are honoured that the brilliant Jack Thorne, The Forge and the astonishing cast felt that Channel 4 was the right home for this thoughtful and gripping drama.”
Following the gripping Happy Valley, Sarah Lancashire returned to our screens in Kiri as experienced social work Miriam Grayson, who is caught up in a police investigation when a young girl, Kiri, goes missing. Popular actress Sarah rose to critical acclaim in beloved BBC shows Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley, which saw her take on the villainous Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) as police sergeant Catherine Cawood.
Kiri, who is living with foster parents, visits members of her biological family, her grandparents, but things take a terrifying turn. Sarah Lancashire explained to blog I Talk Telly, “It’s a decision taken with all parties’ agreement and borne out of the fact that her adoption is pending. All things considered, Miriam feels it is a safe situation. But it quickly becomes clear that this decision has devastating consequences, the effects of which are explored in in the series.”
Kiri is a 4-part drama, penned by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne. He explained how the show is actually based on some of his own experiences with social work.
“My Mum spent most of her life in the caring professions and I’ve always wanted to find a way of examining the pressures they are put under. I’m so grateful as always for the bravery and brilliance of Channel 4 in being prepared to look these issues in the face.”
Luther actor Lucian Msamati stars in the show as Kiri’s grandfather, while Lia Williams, who starred as Wallis Simpson in The Crown, will play the part of Kiri’s foster mother.
A key theme within the new drama is the topic of race, which inadvertently comes under the microscope following Kiri’s disappearance.