Line of Duty, the BBC2 drama about police corruption, will be promoted to appear on BBC1 for at least two more series, after more than five million people tuned in to watch its third season.
The show, which stars Martin Compston and Vicky McClure, has had three series on the smaller BBC2, and it finished on a high last week, attracting 5.6 million viewers. It will follow the likes of The Great British Bake Off, The Apprentice, MasterChef and Miranda onto BBC1.
Viewing figures for its third series put it ahead of Wolf Hall as BBC2’s most watched drama show of the modern era. Proving something of a slow-burner, 4.1 million people watched its first season in 2012, and in 2014, an average of 3.4 million watched its second.
The show has also been a hit with the critics, having won numerous awards, including BAFTAs for best writer, and best leading and supporting actresses in 2015.
The BBC’s controller of TV channels and iPlayer Charlotte Moore said: “Line of Duty is original, bold, gripping drama that gets the nation talking and the time is right to bring the series to an even broader audience on BBC1.
“Jed Mecurio’s explosive thriller will find a new home on BBC1 for two more series and create room for new drama to flourish on BBC2.”