David Hare drama starts engine with 5.1m 

Strictly Come Dancing and The Million Pound Cube returned this week as Taskmaster opened its account on Channel 4, with BBC1 drama Roadkill providing a welcome dose of originality.  

The week began on a sombre note as viewers flocked to BBC1’s News coronavirus bulletin at 7pm to hear the latest guidelines from prime minister Boris Johnson. 

The 7.5m (37%) who tuned in was some way short of the last time an announcement was made at that time – when Johnson addressed 14m (51%) in the midst of lockdown on Sunday 10 May. Opposite, Channel 4 News managed its typical 560,000 (3%). 

Who Do You Think You Are

Slightly more Monday cheer was on offer at 9pm as Jodie Whittaker tracked her ancestors for the latest opener of Who Do You Think You Are?, which reached its 17th run with a predictably steady 3.8m (22%). Opposite on ITV, John Bishop set sail on his stripped Great Whale Adventure. The two-parter averaged 2.5m (14%). 

Tuesday is The Great British Bake Off night and the C4 juggernaut remained reassuringly steady with 6.8m (34%), but was knocked off its pedestal as the week’s most-watched show by the BBC1 bulletin and Strictly Come Dancing.  

The BBC Studios show returned on Saturday with 8.6m (42%) – the best performance by volume since the show opened with 8.8m in 2017. However last year’s curtain raiser kicked off with a 45% share, almost 3% ahead of 2020’s debut. 

Elsewhere on Saturday, ITV revived The Million Pound Cube, which was unable to overcome Strictly as the two overlapped across the 15-minutes from 9pm. 

However, its 3.4m (19%) average meant it fared better against the third ep of The Wall, despite Dany Dyer’s gameshow tapping into its Strictly inheritance to grow by more than 1m week-on-week to reach 3.2m (19%). 

The ball-dropping format remains some way shy of the 4m (23%) average secured by its debut run. 

Taskmaster

Other gameshows also enjoyed a good week. On Thursday, Taskmaster made the jump to C4 after nine series on Dave. Its audience of 1.7m (10%) was significantly up on anything that Avalon’s format achieved on the free-to-air channel further down the EPG.  

Its ninth run opened with 630,000 (3.5%), while the previous record was 730,000 (4.2%) for an outing in May 2019. 

The show hoovered up more than one-third (36%) of 25-34s watching TV at the time - and almost one-quarter (22%) of 16-24s. It also skewed equally female/male, evening out the slot’s usual 59/41 demographic split.  

BBC1’s week ended smoothly – with good performances from Roadkill and Top Gear

David Hare’s drama opened with 5.1m (28.5%), to become its third-best scripted launch of the year, behind June’s Salisbury Poisonings (7.2m / 38.8%) and July’s The Luminaries (5.3m / 28.2%). 

It also made short work of ITV’s ailing Singapore Grip, which bowed out with 1.9m (10.3%), in line with the average across its six-part run, having never bettered the opener’s 2.4m (14.5%). 

Roadkill benefited from a resurgent Top Gear which jumped to 4.3m (20.8%) for its thirds run, having previously hovered around the 3m mark.  

Top 100 Network Programmes - 12 -18 October
 TitleDayStartViewers (m) (all homes)Share (%)Broadcaster/producer
1 STRICTLY COME DANCING Sat 19.50 8.55 42.24 BBC1
2 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE Mon 19.00 7.45 37.18 BBC1
3 THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF Tue 20.00 6.78 34.30 C4/Love Productions
4 BBC NEWS AT SIX Mon 18.00 6.24 36.61 BBC1
5 CORONATION STREET Mon 19.30 5.54 28.99 ITV
6 CORONATION STREET Wed 19.30 5.30 29.11 ITV
7 ROADKILL Sun 21.00 5.18 28.71 BBC1/The Forge
8 CORONATION STREET Fri 19.30 5.16 28.63 ITV
9 BBC NEWS AT SIX Tue 18.00 5.12 31.78 BBC1
10 ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: BEST OF THE SUMMER Sun 19.00 5.09 27.39 BBC1
11 EMMERDALE Wed 19.00 5.07 29.38 ITV
12 BBC NEWS AT SIX Thu 18.00 5.01 32.67 BBC1
13 BBC NEWS AT SIX Wed 18.00 4.98 32.36 BBC1
14 EMMERDALE Tue 19.00 4.95 28.46 ITV
15 CORONATION STREET Mon 20.30 4.94 25.67 ITV
16 BBC NEWS Sun 22.00 4.75 32.43 BBC1
16 EMMERDALE Thu 19.00 4.75 28.82 ITV
18 EMMERDALE Fri 19.00 4.72 28.69 ITV
19 COUNTRYFILE Sun 18.00 4.62 28.23 BBC1
20 EMMERDALE Mon 19.00 4.59 22.87 ITV
21 BBC NEWS AT SIX Fri 18.00 4.57 29.96 BBC1
22 GOGGLEBOX Fri 21.00 4.42 24.16 C4/Studio Lambert
23 THE REPAIR SHOP Wed 20.00 4.33 22.80 BBC1/Ricochet
24 EASTENDERS Tue 19.35 4.29 24.81 BBC1
25 TOP GEAR Sun 20.00 4.25 20.79 BBC1
26 POINTLESS CELEBRITIES Sat 19.00 4.17 23.29 BBC1/Remarkable Television
27 EASTENDERS Thu 19.35 4.14 24.44 BBC1
28 BBC NEWS Sat 18.15 4.11 25.02 BBC1
29 BBC NEWS Sat 22.05 4.08 25.84 BBC1
30 THE ONE SHOW Tue 19.00 4.02 23.32 BBC1
31 CORONATION STREET Wed 20.30 4.01 20.57 ITV
32 CATCHPHRASE CELEBRITY SPECIAL Sat 19.00 3.99 21.83 ITV/STV Studios
33 THE CHASE Mon 17.00 3.98 29.77 ITV/Potato
34 THE CHASE Fri 17.00 3.94 31.40 ITV/Potato
34 THE CHASE Wed 17.00 3.94 32.44 ITV/Potato
36 EMMERDALE Thu 20.00 3.91 23.27 ITV
36 THE CHASE Tue 17.00 3.91 31.97 ITV/Potato
38 ITV EVENING NEWS Fri 18.30 3.82 24.31 ITV/ITN
39 ITV EVENING NEWS Wed 18.30 3.81 23.43 ITV/ITN
40 BBC NEWS AT TEN Wed 22.00 3.80 26.92 BBC1
41 BBC NEWS AT TEN Mon 22.00 3.78 28.26 BBC1
42 THE CHASE Thu 17.00 3.77 31.72 ITV/Potato
43 WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Mon 21.00 3.75 21.69 BBC1/Wall to Wall
44 ITV EVENING NEWS Thu 18.30 3.71 23.42 ITV/ITN
45 THE ONE SHOW Thu 19.00 3.70 22.57 BBC1
46 ITV EVENING NEWS Tue 18.30 3.59 21.80 ITV/ITN
47 BBC NEWS AT TEN Thu 22.00 3.58 25.90 BBC1
47 BBC NEWS AT TEN Fri 22.00 3.58 24.51 BBC1
49 THE ONE SHOW Wed 19.00 3.55 20.58 BBC1
50 BBC NEWS AT ONE Mon 13.00 3.54 46.35 BBC1
51 ITV EVENING NEWS Mon 18.30 3.53 20.28 ITV/ITN
52 BBC NEWS AT TEN Tue 22.00 3.46 25.70 BBC1
53 MATCH OF THE DAY Sat 22.25 3.45 27.71 BBC1
54 EASTENDERS Mon 20.05 3.44 18.75 BBC1
55 AMBULANCE Wed 21.00 3.43 19.23 BBC1
56 BBC NEWS Sun 17.35 3.41 22.50 BBC1
57 THE CHASE CELEBRITY SPECIAL Sat 20.00 3.40 16.67 ITV/Potato
58 FAMILY FORTUNES Sun 20.00 3.39 16.59 ITV
59 BBC NEWS AT ONE Tue 13.00 3.37 45.34 BBC1
60 THE MILLION POUND CUBE Sat 21.00 3.35 19.01 ITV
60 CELEBRITY MASTERMIND Sat 18.30 3.35 19.73 BBC1
62 THE WALL Sat 21.20 3.27 19.30 BBC1
63 THE ONE SHOW Fri 19.00 3.25 19.67 BBC1
64 A QUESTION OF SPORT Fri 19.35 3.23 18.04 BBC1
65 ITV EVENING NEWS Sat 18.30 3.21 19.10 ITV/ITN
66 BBC NEWS AT ONE Thu 13.00 3.16 45.66 BBC1
67 HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU Fri 21.00 3.15 16.71 BBC1/Hat Trick Productions
68 ITV EVENING NEWS Sun 18.30 3.13 18.96 ITV/ITN
69 BBC NEWS AT ONE Fri 13.00 3.12 43.53 BBC1
70 EASTENDERS Fri 20.35 3.11 17.38 BBC1
71 HEATHROW: BRITAIN’S BUSIEST AIRPORT Wed 20.00 3.08 16.65 ITV/Raw TV
72 TIPPING POINT: LUCKY STARS Sun 19.00 2.95 15.86 ITV/Fizz
73 BBC NEWS AT ONE Wed 13.00 2.94 40.68 BBC1
74 THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Sun 19.00 2.93 15.03 C4
75 VERA Fri 20.30 2.90 16.60 ITV
76 Panorama: BELLY MUJINGA: SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH Mon 19.35 2.79 14.83 BBC1
77 WOULD I LIE TO YOU? Fri 20.05 2.77 15.12 BBC1/Zeppotron
78 POINTLESS Fri 17.15 2.74 21.18 BBC1/Remarkable Television
79 THE SAVOY Thu 21.00 2.70 16.18 ITV
80 POINTLESS Mon 17.15 2.63 19.10 BBC1/Remarkable Television
80 UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE Mon 20.30 2.63 13.66 BBC2
82 ONLY CONNECT Mon 20.00 2.55 13.94 BBC2
82 JOHN BISHOP’S GREAT WHALE RESCUE Mon 21.00 2.55 14.76 ITV
84 TIPPING POINT Mon 16.00 2.53 23.75 ITV/Fizz
84 MICHAEL PALIN: TRAVELS OF A LIFETIME Sun 20.00 2.53 12.38 BBC2
86 INSIDE ANIMAL A&E Mon 20.00 2.52 13.78 ITV
87 TIPPING POINT Fri 16.00 2.51 25.57 ITV/Fizz
88 GARDEN RESCUE Wed 19.30 2.50 13.76 BBC1/Spun Gold
88 TONIGHT Thu 19.30 2.50 14.93 ITV
90 THE SAVOY Wed 21.00 2.43 13.64 ITV
91 TIPPING POINT Tue 16.00 2.42 27.81 ITV/Fizz
92 BBC NEWS SPECIAL: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE Mon 15.00 2.38 25.90 BBC1
92 BBC NEWS Sun 13.00 2.38 27.28 BBC1
92 TIPPING POINT Wed 16.00 2.38 28.20 ITV/Fizz
95 POINTLESS Wed 17.15 2.35 18.59 BBC1
95 BARGAIN HUNT Mon 12.15 2.35 34.86 BBC1
95 THE MARTIN LEWIS MONEY SHOW LIVE Thu 20.30 2.35 14.17 ITV
98 TIPPING POINT Thu 16.00 2.30 26.99 ITV/Fizz
99 JOHN BISHOP’S GREAT WHALE RESCUE Tue 21.00 2.28 12.69 ITV
100 BBC NEWS SPECIAL: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE Fri 15.45 2.27 23.24 BBC1

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