Fifth series of Cornish drama launched with 5.8m

In this week’s drama arena, Poldark returned in rather decent shape for BBC1, while the channel’s Dark Money found the going a tad tougher.

Meanwhile, Top Gear seems to have found its feet on BBC2 once more with its Flintoff/McGuinness/Harris combination in the latest reboot of the franchise that Angela Rippon and Noel Edmonds once fronted.

BBC2: TOP GEAR

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The latest series of BBC2’s Top Gear ended with 3.2 million/14% on Sunday 14 July (at a delayed 8:25pm instead of 8pm due to the Wimbledon women’s doubles final overrunning) after 1.3 million recorded and watched.

This was the lowest of the series, but over the five-week run Top Gear averaged 3.8 million/18% – 1.5 million and nine share points more than Matt LeBlanc’s last series, which averaged 2.3 million/9% from 17 February for five weeks.

This summer’s average is also ahead of 2017’s run (LeBlanc’s debut as main host), which averaged 3.1 million/12% over the course of seven weeks from 5 March.

This series averaged 168,000 via non-TV devices, comprised of 94,000 via PC/laptops, 30,000 on tablets and 44,000 on smartphones, raising the average to nearly 4 million. Top Gear’s last ever Jeremy Clarkson and co series averaged 6.3 million/22% and 2 million ABC1 men in 2015.

BBC1: POLDARK

Poldark returned for its fifth series on BBC1 on Sunday 14 July at 9pm with 5.8 million/23% – 165,000 fewer than 2018’s launch on 10 June (6 million/24%) and one share point fewer. In terms of non-TV viewing, it was watched by a further 158,000 via devices.

The 72,000 on PC/laptops was the best, almost bringing the total to 2018’s launch number. Poldark’s fifth series opener gathered 3.7 million/28% ABC1 adults, the best upmarket rating for the drama since 2017’s third series finale (3.7 million/29%) on 6 August.

The show’s TV rating was behind the launch of Gentleman Jack’s opener, the slot’s previous incumbent, which began on 19 May with 6.5 million/28%.

BBC1: DARK MONEY

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BBC1’s four-part drama Dark Money launched on Monday 8 July at 9pm, gathering 3.4 million/15% after 845,000 recorded and watched, with another 104,000 watching via non-TV viewing.

Tuesday’s second episode achieved 2.8 million/13% after 864,000 recorded and watched – no data for device viewing was available.

Dark Money’s opener was the third-lowest launch of any BBC1 drama this year so far, ahead of Years And Years’ 3.3 million/15% on Tuesday 14 May and Trust Me’s 2.9 million/13% on Tuesday 16 April.

Consolidated ratings 8 - 14 July
 TitleDayViewers (m) (all homes)Share (%)Gain (m)Gain (%)Broadcaster
1 LOVE ISLAND FRI 4.35 19.88 1.38 46.40 ITV2
2 TOP GEAR SUN 3.18 14.22 1.25 65.10 BBC2
2 POLDARK SUN 5.80 22.53 1.25 27.50 BBC1
4 KILLING EVE SAT 3.27 19.39 1.07 48.80 BBC1
5 EASTENDERS FRI 4.48 25.38 1.05 30.50 BBC1
6 THE HANDMAID’S TALE SUN 1.94 8.30 1.01 108.30 C4
7 CORONATION STREET FRI 6.06 33.36 1.00 19.80 ITV
8 BEECHAM HOUSE SUN 2.87 11.07 0.99 52.30 ITV
9 LOVE ISLAND SUN 4.42 17.59 0.97 28.20 ITV2
10 LOVE ISLAND TUE 4.54 20.45 0.96 26.90 ITV2
10 CELEBRITY GOGGLEBOX FRI 3.56 16.43 0.96 37.00 C4
12 CORONATION STREET WED 6.06 29.78 0.94 18.30 ITV
13 LOVE ISLAND THU 4.43 20.35 0.92 26.30 ITV2
13 LOVE ISLAND WED 4.58 19.83 0.92 25.20 ITV2
15 WILD BILL WED 2.95 12.85 0.88 42.50 ITV
16 DARK MONEY TUE 2.84 13.02 0.86 43.80 BBC1
17 EASTENDERS TUE 4.14 21.53 0.85 25.90 BBC1
17 EASTENDERS THU 4.93 30.10 0.85 20.70 BBC1
17 DARK MONEY Mon 3.38 14.85 0.85 33.40 BBC1
20 CASUALTY SAT 4.11 24.06 0.81 24.50 BBC1
20 EASTENDERS Mon 5.03 26.77 0.81 19.10 BBC1
22 CORONATION STREET Mon 6.34 32.13 0.80 14.50 ITV
23 LOVE ISLAND Mon 4.56 19.68 0.79 20.90 ITV2
23 HOLBY CITY WED 3.23 17.05 0.79 32.20 BBC1
25 CORONATION STREET WED 6.49 37.21 0.75 13.10 ITV
26 EMMERDALE FRI 5.31 29.34 0.72 15.60 ITV
27 LOUIS THEROUX: SURVIVING AMERICA’S MOST… SUN 2.07 8.76 0.71 52.40 BBC2
27 CORONATION STREET Mon 6.47 35.07 0.71 12.30 ITV
29 HOLBY CITY TUE 3.16 16.53 0.70 28.40 BBC1
30 EMMERDALE THU 5.51 30.03 0.69 14.30 ITV

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