DESPITE the furore that resulted from the axing of Highway 1,161 of the 2,832 complaints received by the Independent Television Commission last year were from Highway die-hards the introduction of the Sunday early-evening family film on ITV (6.30pm) has been a measured success. Every week so far the film has had higher ratings than its opposition on BBC1, Songs of Praise (6.25pm) followed by As Time Goes By (7pm) and Lovejoy (7.30pm). The films have won audiences of around 12.2 million; the most popular has been Jewel of the Nile with 13.27m. Lovejoy is regularly under 11m and has only once climbed over 12m in the present series. This indicates the shrewdness of ITV's scheduling, since Lovejoy has much greater ratings potential. Last year its audience stayed below 11m when it clashed with that ratings giant The Darling Buds of May (average 17.5m); when Darling Buds finished its run, Lovejoy picked up immediately to 13m.
Cutting Edge (C4 Monday) has been enjoying high ratings. Two documentaries have received higher ratings in their week than any Brookside edition, one hitting 6.38m. After this week's programme on the underpaid, the station received 100 calls from similar sufferers.