A 48-year-old series beats a stately home doc and 6.5 million watch Germany lose on penalties.

History has it that the Howdy Company in St Louis, Missouri came up with its famous fizzy drink after trying many different formulae. 

Presumably at some of the early marketing meetings, as another unsatisfactory try was unveiled, nobody said: “Oh that’ll do, let’s call it 1Up.”

Imagine that if, after yet another failed formula was delivered, it was agreed that this was ridiculous and anyway 6Up is a stupid name. But Howdy gave it one more go and lo, a TV programme had its title. 

The pitch must have gone: “A series with an indeterminate number of episodes which will conclude sometime in the next century.” Try that now. Hmm, is there a jungle involved by any chance? And, more urgently, how does an ROI work over several decades? Almost as old as ITV itself, participants of the original 1964 series 7 Up have rather -marvellously returned to screens in – what, already? – 56 Up

Elsewhere, the TV week nosed around a stately home, followed two curmudgeonly detectives and showed an unlikely sporting event: a German team losing to an English one on penalties. In a jubilee year, Monday night had a rather old-fashioned feel. 56 Up tussled with BBC1’s stately home and won comfortably;  ITV1’s 4.5 million/19% (310,000 on +1) was nicely ahead of Chatsworth, which scored 4.1 million/18%. 

Tuesday marked the return of BBC1’s legal drama Silk. Its 5.6 mil-lion/24% at 9pm represents its best performance to date. It was easily too much for ITV1’s Dirty Britain, which scraped together 2.8 million/12% (200,000 on +1).

On Wednesday it was the return of Morse, I mean Lewis. I’m biased, I’m afraid: it’s a sublime way to spend two hours and 5.2 million/23% spent it with me (300,000 on +1). Recording will boost it significantly but on the night it beat – although not comfortably enough – DIY SOS: The Big Build (4.7 million/22%) at 8pm but was then roundly defeated by BBC1’s The Apprentice at 9pm (6.1 million/25%).

Long Lost Family is proving a robust thing for ITV1. This Thursday’s 4.5 million/20% (170,000 on +1) defeated BBC1’s repeat of New Tricks (3.9 million/17%) in the battle of the Wall to Wall shows. Long Lost Family’s live 2012 series average is 4.6 million/20%, which in turn is just ahead of last year.

BBC1’s comic Friday continues well with Have I Got News For You at 9pm (5.4 million/24%) and Not Going Out at 9.30pm (4.7 million/21%). Both of these defeated, though the latter only just, ITV1’s Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, which this week featured Lulu. It was watched by 4.5 million/20% (247,000 on +1).

On Saturday, The Voice UK had a chance to recover as opposition eased from last week’s BGT final. It didn’t take it: 5.6 million/27% from 6.30pm is the same as last week’s rating. ITV1’s coverage of Chelsea’s win on penalties in the Champions League Final scored an average of 6.5 million/29%. Against The Voice from 7pm to 8pm, it averaged 3.7 million/17%; between 8pm and 11pm, it averaged 8.0 million/34%, peaking at 10.6 million/43% at 10.25pm. 

ITV1’s Vera this Sunday scored its best ever rating with 5.7 million/24% (300,000 on +1) against BBC1’s Planet Earth Live (3.9 million/17%) and a repeat of Death In Paradise (2.2 million/9%). At 7.30pm, The Voice Results achieved 5.8 million/26%, the lowest yet.