The pre-season preliminaries are over and The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing are both in the Saturday night schedule.

On this occasion, The X Factor won quite comfortably. Saturday's show at 7.30pm attracted 9.4 million/43% share making it the highest rated programme of the week. Strictly's opening show an hour earlier at 6.30pm had a respectable 6 million/33% share.

If we look back at The X Factor's performance on the same night this time last year and in 2006 we can see this series is really motoring. Last year it had 6.2 million/42% share at 6.20pm. In 2006 it had 7.2 million/32% share at 6pm. Last Saturday ITV1 had a winning primetime share of 27% to BBC1's 23%. On the same Saturday in 2007 and 2006, its primetime share was 28% and 28.5% respectively.

Sadly for ITV1, its weekly primetime figures tell a different story. Last week its weekly primetime share of 22.7% was only marginally ahead of BBC1's 22.1%. There are some nights where ITV1 suffers significant defeats. On Sunday it only managed a 20% primetime share to 24% for BBC1. The latter's share was boosted by Antiques Roadshow, with new presenter Fiona Bruce, which soared to 6.2 million/29% at 7pm and by new costume drama, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, which opened at 9pm with 5.7 million/24% share.

ITV1's Tuesday's primetime share was awful. I had a sinking feeling when, towards the end of the two-hour National Movie Awards, Samuel L Jackson presented a special award to Pixar - the people behind Toy Story and so on. Toy Story clips are fun and clever, but if movie awards aren't boosting or deflating actors' egos, what's the point? Not surprisingly the Awards recorded just 2.8 million/12% share and ITV1's primetime share was just 17%.

That said, BBC1's primetime share on Tuesday was only 22%. Mutual Friends is treading water with 3.7 million/16% share at 9pm but BBC1 has no standout show that night. Consequently Tuesday nights present an opportunity for Channel 4 and Five. Secret Millionaire is doing great business at 9pm with 4 million/18% share, helped by The Sex Education Show at 8pm with 2.5 million/11% share.

This meant Tuesday was C4's best night of the week delivering an 11% primetime share. Five also enjoyed Tuesday, thanks to CSI: Miami's 2.5 million/11% share at 9pm. The show contributed to a 7% primetime share for Five, which was also its best performance of the week, bringing it close to BBC2's Tuesday night primetime share of 7.9%.

Elsewhere C4 had good numbers for its 9/11 programming. Wednesday's 9/11 Hotel pulled in 2.7 million/12% share at 9pm while Thursday's 9/11 Faker attracted 2.8 million/13% share at 9pm. However, Monday night's The Price of Property at 9pm attracted a disappointing 1.2 million/5% share. This was not much better than Five's Extreme Fishing with Robson Green which had 1.1 million/5% share at the same time.

On Monday nights C4 suffers at the hands of BBC2 where a strong line-up of Dragons' Den (3.7 million/16% share), The Hairy Bakers (3.4 million/15% share), and University Challenge (2.8 million/13% share) contributed to a 12.5% share for BBC2, its best of the week.

Philip Reevell can be contacted at