Channel 5’s Big Brother gamble looks to have paid off after figures emerged showing how the reality programme lifted the broadcaster above its rivals ITV1 and C4 during last Sunday night’s prime-time slot.
Jedward & Co. also beat C4 on Friday and Saturday nights before falling back to fifth place on Monday. Between 7pm and 10.30pm on Sunday, Channel 5 averaged 2.2 million viewers and a 10.1% audience share, compared with 1.78 million (8.1%) for ITV1 and 1.27 million (5.8%) for Channel 4 reports the Guardian.
With The Da Vinci Code as a lead-in, CBB scored more viewers than ITV1 (which broadcast Joanna Lumley’s Nile, David Jason’s Greatest Escapes and the finale of magic series Penn & Teller: Fool Us) between 7pm and 10pm. It also pipped C4 who were showing World Championship Athletics, Holiday Hijack and Rush Hour 3.
The news will be welcomed by C5 owner Richard Desmond, but his joy could be short-lived as ITV1 prepare to wheel out Jonathan Ross’s new chatshow and Ant & Dec’s new gameshow Red or Black next weekend, followed closely by the weekend consuming X Factor live shows later this month.
Yet despite falling away somewhat, Celebrity Big Brother also claimed some scalps on Monday night, beating the eagerly anticipated Stephen Fry’s 100 Greatest Gadgets when the two went head to head between 10pm and 11pm, BBC2’s chatshow Ruth Jones’s Summer Holiday, which averaged 1.2 million, and the end of a repeat of Poirot on ITV1.
“We’re pleased that after such a successful launch, Celebrity Big Brother continues to perform strongly, bringing new viewers to Channel 5 who are clearly enjoying what they see.” said a C5 spokesperson.