True crime drama well ahead of BBC1 drama rival

As the winter schedule got its now customary dose of ITV true crime thriller and saw ratings go through the roof, the real-life grand felony is the apparent kidnapping of 2021 by 2020. Meanwhile, we were reminded this week how revered gameshow Bullseye helped trap a mullet-headed murderer and in a strong week for ITV drama, Sunday’s newbie got viewers wondering who was behaving the most badly.

ITV’s three-part true crime thriller The Pembrokeshire Murders opened on Monday with a strong 5.9 million/31% (399,000 +1). It was many miles ahead of BBC1’s third episode of thriller Traces, which was first seen on BBC Studios-owned channel Alibi last year. The show mustered 1.9 million/10% for 40 minutes followed by Staged’s 1.3 million/7%.

Tuesday’s middle episode of The Pembrokeshire Murders fall to its lowest overnight, a still respectable 5.5 million/28%; 331,000 +1 that remained far too much for Traces (1.7 million/9%) and Staged (1.1 million/6%).

The Truth About Getting Fit At home

The Truth About Getting Fit at Home

The true-crime drama saved its best for last with a very large 6.4 million/35%; 266,000 +1 on Wednesday – making it the slot winner by a distance ahead of Channel 4’s Grand Designs (2 million/11%; 167,000 +1) and BBC1’s The Truth About Getting Fit at Home (2 million/11%) – and the highest rating title of the week.

The Pembrokeshire Murders averaged 6.3 million/33% over its three nights, which is the best of ITV’s recent spate of true crime dramas. Last year’s big hit Des averaged 5.1 million/29% in overnight for three nights from 14 September and it rose to 8.9 million/36% after seven days’ catch-up on TV.

Pembrokeshire Murders also beat the high rating Manhunt, which averaged 6 million/28% for three nights from 6 January 2019, rising to 8.8 million/32%. Pembrokeshire’s 3.2 million/34% for ABC1 adults was more than Des’ 2.6 million/30% in overnights and Manhunt’s 3 million/28%.

death in paradise

Death in Paradise

The second episode of BBC1’s latest Death in Paradise run achieved a muscular, slot-winning 5.6 million/29%, 600,000 shy of last week’s opener (6.5 million/32%). It defeated ITV’s documentary The Pembrokeshire Murders: Catching the Gameshow Killer (3.3 million/17%; 232,000 +1).

ITV’s companion doc just ahead of last autumn’s The Real ‘Des’: The Dennis Nilsen Story, which complemented Des and achieved 2.9 million/19%; 172,000 +1 on Thursday 17 September at 9pm.

The fourth series of Dancing on Ice since its ITV return in 2018 opened with 4.9 million/24%; 273,000 +1 at 6pm on Sunday. It sneaked past BBC1’s Countryfile from 6pm (5.2 million/25%), but slipped behind Antiques Roadshow at 7pm (5.9 million/29%).

Of its four runs, the launch ep on 7 January 2018 remains the strongest overnight rating of all episodes (7.6 million/34%).

At 9pm on Sunday, ITV’s new drama series Finding Alice, which was co-written by Men Behaving Badly’s Simon Nye, opened robustly with 5.1 million/28%; 305,000 +1 – well ahead of BBC1’s third episode of its own true crime thriller, The Serpent (2.3 million/13%). The series are available in their entirety on ITV Hub and the BBC iPlayer, respectively.

Top 100 Network Programmes - 11 - 17 January
 TitleDayStartViewers (m) (all homes)Share (%)Broadcaster/producer
1 THE PEMBROKESHIRE MURDERS Wed 21.00 6.65 35.96 ITV/World Productions
2 BBC NEWS AT SIX Mon 18.00 6.45 34.26 BBC1
3 THE PEMBROKESHIRE MURDERS Mon 21.00 6.32 33.11 ITV/World Productions
4 BBC NEWS AT SIX Tue 18.00 6.10 32.95 BBC1
5 BBC NEWS AT SIX Fri 18.00 6.05 33.77 BBC1
6 THE MASKED SINGER Sat 19.00 6.03 30.30 ITV/Bandicoot
7 ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Sun 19.00 5.90 28.84 BBC1
8 THE PEMBROKESHIRE MURDERS Tue 21.00 5.84 30.13 ITV/World Productions
9 BBC NEWS AT SIX Thu 18.00 5.81 31.83 BBC1
10 BBC NEWS AT SIX Wed 18.00 5.77 31.52 BBC1
11 CORONATION STREET Fri 19.30 5.70 31.03 ITV
12 CORONATION STREET Mon 19.30 5.61 29.15 ITV
13 DEATH IN PARADISE Thu 21.00 5.60 28.90 BBC1/Red Planet Pictures
14 CORONATION STREET Wed 19.30 5.44 28.78 ITV
15 FINDING ALICE Sun 21.00 5.43 29.68 ITV/Buddy Club/Genial/Red
16 CORONATION STREET Mon 20.30 5.27 26.64 ITV
17 DANCING ON ICE Sun 18.00 5.22 25.38 ITV
18 COUNTRYFILE Sun 18.00 5.18 25.11 BBC1
19 EMMERDALE Wed 19.00 5.11 27.78 ITV
20 EMMERDALE Thu 19.00 4.99 28.05 ITV
21 EMMERDALE Mon 19.00 4.94 26.12 ITV
22 EMMERDALE Fri 19.00 4.88 28.18 ITV
23 A PERFECT PLANET Sun 20.00 4.85 23.85 BBC1
24 CATCHPHRASE CELEBRITY SPECIAL Sat 18.00 4.81 27.15 ITV/STV Studios
25 THE CHASE Thu 17.00 4.78 32.16 ITV/Potato
26 BRADLEY WALSH & SON: BREAKING DAD Mon 20.00 4.74 23.31 ITV/Hungry Bear Media
26 EMMERDALE Tue 19.00 4.74 25.54 ITV
28 CORONATION STREET Wed 20.30 4.73 23.97 ITV
29 THE CHASE Wed 17.00 4.68 31.79 ITV/Potato
30 THE CHASE Tue 17.00 4.59 29.74 ITV/Potato
31 EMMERDALE Thu 20.00 4.50 24.68 ITV
32 THE CHASE Mon 17.00 4.26 26.17 ITV/Potato
33 THE REPAIR SHOP Wed 20.00 4.25 22.24 BBC1/Ricochet
34 ITV EVENING NEWS Wed 18.30 4.20 23.16 ITV/ITN
34 BBC NEWS AT ONE Mon 13.00 4.20 44.83 BBC1
36 THE VOICE UK Sat 20.30 4.19 22.88 ITV
37 BBC NEWS AT ONE Thu 13.00 4.18 44.94 BBC1
38 THE CHASE Fri 17.00 4.17 26.08 ITV/Potato
39 ITV EVENING NEWS Thu 18.30 4.15 22.54 ITV/ITN
40 ITV EVENING NEWS Mon 18.30 4.13 22.10 ITV/ITN
41 EASTENDERS Thu 19.35 4.09 22.92 BBC1
42 EASTENDERS Tue 19.30 4.06 21.25 BBC1
43 BBC NEWS AT ONE Wed 13.00 4.02 43.77 BBC1
44 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: BBC NEWS SPECIAL Mon 16.30 4.01 26.74 BBC1
45 WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? Sun 20.00 4.00 19.67 ITV/Stellify Media
45 ITV EVENING NEWS Tue 18.30 4.00 21.42 ITV/ITN
47 BBC NEWS AT TEN Wed 22.00 3.99 26.51 BBC1
48 MICHAEL MCINTYRE’S THE WHEEL Sat 20.30 3.97 21.16 BBC1/Hungry McBear
49 THE ONE SHOW Thu 19.00 3.95 22.32 BBC1
50 ITV EVENING NEWS Fri 18.30 3.94 22.11 ITV/ITN
51 BBC NEWS AT TEN Thu 22.00 3.93 26.79 BBC1
52 BBC NEWS Sun 22.00 3.90 25.11 BBC1
53 WOULD I LIE TO YOU? Fri 21.00 3.81 21.84 BBC1/Zeppotron
54 BBC NEWS AT ONE Fri 13.00 3.78 42.72 BBC1
55 BBC NEWS AT ONE Tue 13.00 3.74 45.08 BBC1
56 BBC NEWS Sat 22.00 3.72 23.25 BBC1
57 POINTLESS CELEBRITIES Sat 19.00 3.68 18.49 BBC1/Remarkable Television
58 THE ONE SHOW Tue 19.00 3.65 19.65 BBC1
59 BBC NEWS Sun 17.35 3.63 19.43 BBC1
60 THE ONE SHOW Mon 19.00 3.62 19.07 BBC1
61 THE ONE SHOW Fri 19.00 3.61 20.61 BBC1
62 ITV NEWS AT TEN Wed 22.00 3.55 23.85 ITV/ITN
63 THE PEMBROKESHIRE MURDERS: CATCHING THE GAME SHOW KILLER Thu 21.00 3.54 18.25 ITV
64 BBC NEWS AT TEN Fri 22.00 3.51 23.04 BBC1
65 THE ONE SHOW Wed 19.00 3.48 18.92 BBC1
66 CASUALTY Sat 19.50 3.42 17.12 BBC1
66 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: BBC NEWS SPECIAL Fri 16.30 3.42 23.39 BBC1
68 EASTENDERS Fri 20.40 3.40 18.90 BBC1
69 BBC NEWS AT TEN Tue 22.00 3.37 22.02 BBC1
70 CORNWALL AND DEVON WALKS WITH JULIA BRADBURY Wed 20.00 3.35 18.07 ITV
71 EASTENDERS Mon 20.05 3.31 16.20 BBC1
72 ITV NEWS AT TEN Mon 22.00 3.26 21.84 ITV/ITN
73 TIPPING POINT Tue 16.00 3.22 30.10 ITV/Fizz
74 NOT GOING OUT Fri 21.30 3.21 19.09 BBC1/Avalon Television
75 BBC NEWS AT TEN Mon 22.00 3.19 21.71 BBC1
76 TIPPING POINT Mon 16.00 3.13 26.97 ITV/Fizz
77 ITV NEWS AT TEN Tue 22.00 3.11 20.72 ITV/ITN
78 TIPPING POINT Thu 16.00 3.08 27.63 ITV/Fizz
79 TIPPING POINT Wed 16.00 3.05 28.07 ITV/Fizz
79 CELEBRITY MASTERMIND Sat 18.00 3.05 17.62 BBC1
81 TIPPING POINT Fri 16.00 2.94 26.79 ITV/Fizz
81 ITV NEWS Sun 22.00 2.94 18.59 ITV/ITN
83 POINTLESS Thu 17.15 2.91 18.94 BBC1/Remarkable Television
84 TONIGHT Thu 19.30 2.90 16.36 ITV
84 POINTLESS Tue 17.15 2.90 18.25 BBC1/Remarkable Television
86 BBC NEWS Sat 17.40 2.85 17.96 BBC1
87 A QUESTION OF SPORT Fri 20.10 2.83 15.32 BBC1
88 THE MARTIN LEWIS MONEY SHOW LIVE Thu 20.30 2.81 15.24 ITV/MultiStory Media
89 ITV EVENING NEWS Sat 17.30 2.76 17.91 ITV/ITN
89 POINTLESS Wed 17.15 2.76 18.10 BBC1/Remarkable Television
91 ONLY CONNECT Mon 20.00 2.75 13.51 BBC2/Parasol Media
92 HOLBY CITY Tue 19.50 2.74 14.82 BBC1
93 PANORAMA: THE VIRUS VS THE VACCINE Mon 19.35 2.68 13.89 BBC1
94 MOTD: FA CUP FOURTH-ROUND DRAW Mon 19.00 2.66 14.06 BBC2
94 UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE Mon 20.30 2.66 13.44 BBC2/ITV Studios
96 THE CHASE CELEBRITY SPECIAL Sun 17.00 2.64 14.87 ITV/Potato
97 GARDEN RESCUE Fri 19.40 2.56 14.11 BBC1/Spun Gold
98 MARTIN CLUNES ISLANDS OF AUSTRALIA Tue 20.00 2.53 13.44 ITV/Prospero Productions
99 BARGAIN HUNT Wed 12.15 2.52 31.47 BBC1
100 BARGAIN HUNT Thu 12.15 2.51 31.83 BBC1

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