Ratings round-up: ‘The Paradise’ opens its doors to 5.5m viewers

BBC One’s new period drama The Paradise, based on a novel by Emile Zola, debuted with 5.5m viewers and a 23.1% share of the audience this week.

Charting the goings-on at Britain’s first department store, the first episode of the eight-part series beat returning ITV1 favourite Midsomer Murders, which averaged 4.3m viewers (18.1%) during its two-hour slot on Tuesday 25th.

Tuesday also saw the launch of BBC Three’s latest sitcom, Cuckoo. The Greg Davies-starring comedy was seen by 1.2m (6.6%) people and became the highest viewed debut episode of a sitcom for the channel, beating the record set by Bad Education just six weeks earlier.

The big new drama from ITV this week came in the shape of Homefront, following the trials and tribulations of several families connected to soldiers away fighting in Afghanistan.  A modest 3.3m (15.5%) tuned in on Thursday for the first episode of six.

As is now the norm, Monday night belonged to the long tooth of the law as New Tricks dominated the evening with an increase of viewers to 7.5m (30.7%). Once again this trounced Leaving, in the time slot where it appears ITV1 dramas go to die, although this too saw a rise in viewers to 3.7m (15.2%).

Over on Channel 5 the reboot of Dallas has seemingly settled into its stride with 1.5m (6.5%) viewers this week, while Person of Interest also held steady with 1.1m (4.7%).

Two programmes heading towards the end of their run with a consistent fan base are Mrs Biggs with 4.2m (18.3%) and controversial sitcom Citizen Khan which, despite continuing luke warm reviews, is still managing to entertain 2.8m (19.7%) viewers in the Monday night 10.35pm slot – enough to earn it a second series.

Finally, one drama that it might be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks is Lilyhammer on BBC Four, which looks at an ex-mafia man rebuilding his life on the witness protection programme in Norway.  It only attracted 221k viewers this week but we may see this rise as word of mouth spreads and its Killing-style cult following begins to build.

Watch the trailer for The Paradise

All data was supplied by Attentional, Digital Spy and The Guardian.

What did you enjoy on TV this week? Let us know below…

> Read more from Chris in his blog, Boyle’s Law.