Ratings plummet for The Royal Bodyguard but Sherlock finale hooks viewers.
Some moons ago, I hurled myself off a narrow bridge over a canyon in New Zealand, fairly certain that the bloke in the hat and suntan who insisted on calling me Steve-O had tied the bungee securely to my ankles. I was about to find out if his knot-tying skills were up to it and just what plummeting feels like.
If you haven’t seen Sherlock, you might not get the reference but suffice to say memories came flooding back on Sunday night. And I suppose David Jason and I now have more in common for we have both suffered mindnumbing falls, only his was more recent - on Monday. Elsewhere, there was live footie, stumbling angels, the return of the con and a decent tussle on Sunday night.
Above Suspicion, one of ITV1’s strongest drama brands, returned to its traditional January berth, but this time across three weeks rather than stripped. Its 6.3 million/25% at 9pm (excl +1) dealt a possibly fatal blow to BBC1’s The Royal Bodyguard. After a bright enough start, it fell badly this week with 2.9 million/12%, a long way behind last week’s 4.5 million. At 9.30pm, Mrs Brown’s Boys, clearly a force in its own right, clawed back to a decent 4.7 million/19% at 9.30pm.
On Wednesday, BBC1 covered the first leg of the League Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Liverpool. Its 6.8 million/28% over two and a half hours peaked at 8.30pm on 7.9 million/31%. The last in the erratically scheduled current run of ITV1’s stalwart Midsomer Murders hauled in 5.2 million/20% (5.3 million incl +1).
Last week, ITV1’s Eternal Law had what felt like a fragile start. This week, against a repeat of BBC1’s New Tricks (5.1 million/22%), the angels fell; 3.2 million/14% at 9pm (169,000 on +1) down from 4.7 million (incl +1) on debut.
After a delayed launch thanks to a Panorama special last week, BBC1’s Hustle began its final series on Friday. With 5.1 million/21%, it squeezed past ITV1’s Law And Order: UK, which nevertheless achieved a respectable 4.5 million/19% (367,000 on +1). It was always going to be a win-win for Kudos, which makes both (though it also makes Eternal Law, so it’s a mixed bag).
January Saturdays are a bit like a blinding hangover. After the excitement of the all-singing and dancing autumn, the new year pales. One bright beacon was BBC1’s Casualty, which as Saturday’s top dog achieved 6.1 million/26% at 8.45pm.
At 8.30pm, ITV1’s The Talent Show Story continued its lowlyway with 2.4 million/10%, matching last week’s debut. A show about talent shows isn’t the same, clearly, as a talent show itself. At 9.30pm, The Jonathan Ross Show received a mighty hospital pass; its 2.4 million/11% (117,000 on +1) lost to BBC1’s Live At The Apollo on 3.6 million/17% at 9.35pm and BBC News at 10.05pm (4.3 million/20%).
On Sunday at 8pm, BBC1 launched its 1950s East End nuns-and-nurses drama Call The Midwife: 8 million/27% was impressive, gaining 500,000 at 8.30pm once ITV1’s Dancing On Ice finished. At 6.30pm, Dancing On Ice slipped by 900,000 from last week to score 7.7 million/29% (187,000 on +1).
Sherlock continued where the midwives left off and 7.9 million/30% was too much for the second half of Wild At Heart (6.5 million/23% from 8.30pm) and the DOI results (6.3 million/23%; 231,000 on +1). A Christmas Sherlock en route surely?