Ratings round-up: ‘Silent Witness’ return sees ITV left for dead

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Despite dominating the Saturday evening schedules, ITV1 struggled against the BBC as both channels launch new dramas.

A postponed Silent Witness two-parter began on Sunday 19th August, concluding on Monday night. Part 1 saw the show pull in 5.6m (24.5%) viewers, down just over a million on April’s Series 15 opener, but still enough to beat ITV1’s drama premiere The Last Weekend, which only managed 3.3m (14.6%).

The Beeb also came out victorious in round two on Monday night as the second part of Silent Witness beat the concluding episode of Ruth Rendall’s Thirteen Steps Down with 4.8m (20.2%) and 3m (12.5%) viewers respectively.

The BBC built on this success with the launch of Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch’s new mini-series Parade’s End on BBC Two on Friday 24th, with 3.1m (14.1%) viewers tuning into the period drama.

BBC Three’s Bad Education had another good week as its audience rose to 988k (5.1%) for Episode 2 and it’s not beyond reason to believe it could break the million mark next week.

There were some slight disappointments for the BBC however as the second episode of Accused’s new series slipped to, a still impressive, 4.5m (19.5%) on Tuesday 21st and Vexed recorded its lowest figures of the series so far with 887k (4%) on Wednesday.

Over on Channel 5, US import Once Upon a Time enchanted 958k (6.4%) viewers and Person of Interest slipped slightly to 1.3m (5.5%) in an earlier time slot.

As we look forward to next week the big question is will ITV1 continue to rule the ratings on a Saturday night against the return of some little sci-fi show that’s been around for 49 years. Only time (and space) will tell.

> Order Parade’s End on DVD on Amazon.

Watch the Parade’s End trailer…

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

What have you enjoyed on TV over the past week? Let us know below…

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