SUNDAY: The series finale of Downton Abbey went out on a high after the latest eliminations from The X Factor peaked with 14m viewers.
The bumper night for ITV1 started at 8pm, with The X Factor Results drawing an average audience of 12.09m (41.84%) across the hour including ITV1 HD, according to overnight Barb figures supplied by Attentional.
An additional 211,900 (0.76%) caught up an hour later on time-shifted ITV1+1.
The peak of 13.97m (46.31%) came in the five minutes from 8.50pm, as favourites The Risk and Johnny Robinson were voted off the competition in a double elimination.
The average audience beat the previous series high of 11.9m, recorded last Sunday.
ITV1’s good fortune continued with the series finale of period drama Downton Abbey drawing 10.49m (38.82%) from 9pm to 10.30pm and a further 190,200 (1.04%) on ITV1+1.
It was the biggest overnights audience for Downton to date, beating the previous high of 10.08m (37.49%) for the series one finale.
Across eight episodes, the second series delivered an average audience of 9.23m (34.8%), beating the 8.78m (33.1%) that watched the first seven-part run in autumn 2010.
ITV recently announced third series, and a one-off will air on Christmas Day.
Strictly series high
BBC1 also scored a series high for Strictly Come Dancing with 10.69m (39.59%) watching the results show from 7.25pm to 8pm.
It peaked with 11.95m (43.17%) in the five minutes from 7.55pm as Lulu was ejected from the celebrity dance competition.
Elsewhere at the time, ITV1 boxed in 4.02m (15.55%) for gameshow The Cube over the 7pm hour – down 100,000 on last week’s series debut – with another 186,300 (0.64%) watching later on ITV1+1.
A repeat of Top Gear steered 1.35m (5.18%) to BBC2 across the 7pm slot, with a further 100,000 (0.4%) watching the BBC HD simulcast.
Later in the evening, BBC1’s Antiques Roadshow and a BBC2 doc about a potential “snowmageddon” managed to hold up against stiff competition.
At 8pm, the Antiques Roadshow proved valuable for 6.53m (22.6%) across the hour, opposite ratings juggernaut The X Factor Results on ITV1.
A repeat of BBC2 nature doc Coast fared less well, taking 1.17m (4%) on an hour-long journey from 8pm.
Channel 4’s River Cottage Veg reported its lowest crop of the current series with 1.12m (3.86%) over the 8pm hour and an additional 202,600 (0.73%) on C4+1.
Channel 5’s repeat of Paul Merton’s Adventures trailed with just 600,000 (2.1%) in the 8pm slot.
Will it Snow?
The weather proved a popular subject for BBC2 at 9pm as 2.18m (7.8%) tuned in across the hour for Will It Snow?.
The doc, which examined whether the country faces a repeat of last year’s cold snap, snowed in a further 123,500 (0.44%) on its BBC HD simulcast.
But while Downton reigned on ITV1, a repeat of stand-up show Michael McIntyre: Hello Wembley! could only amuse 2.8m (10.1%) on BBC1 over the 9pm hour.
C4’s The Secret Millionaire was investigated by 1.49m (5.34%) in the 9pm slot, with another 208,000 (0.97%) watching C4+1.
C5’s Big Brother highlights locked in 1.19m (4.3%) across the 9pm hour.