Downton viewing figures down on last year, but still hit 9m
Monday 17 September 2012
The return of Downton Abbey was unable to match the launch of last year's series, figures showed today.
However, the ITV1 show - which has moved into the 1920s for its latest run - still proved popular as it drew double the viewers of rival channel BBC1's drama Inspector George Gently.
Downton's 90-minute opener was seen by an average audience of 9 million, including viewers on ITV's +1 channel, to become the station's highest rating drama so far this year.
But it drew 300,000 fewer viewers than the first episode of the 2011 series. It peaked at 9.6 million viewers, which was 800,000 down on the corresponding show last year.
Inspector George Gently - which had an hour-long overlap with Downton - landed an average audience of 4.3 million.
There was good news for The X Factor, which saw a huge boost in its audience to draw its biggest ratings of the series when an average of 9.7 million viewers watched the audition show.
A week earlier it had dipped below 8 million, giving the lowest audience for five years.
However, last night's edition was still 1.8 million down on this stage of the contest in 2011.
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
Top Gear makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells Independent Bath Literature Festival
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Jenny Collier row: Comedy promoter apologises after dropping female comic 'because venue did not want too many women on the bill'
Lena Dunham strips naked for Girls spoof while hosting Saturday Night Live
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time