Weekend ratings round-up: ‘Downton Abbey’ tragedy enthrals 9.8m

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9.8m (37.6%) viewers tuned in to watch the tragic events of Sunday’s episode unfold on ITV1 as Channel 4 shows continued to struggle.

The second episode of Homeland‘s second season managed a respectable 2.2m viewers and an 8.5% share of the audience; but this is still 100k less than last week and less than the average number of viewers for Season 1.

The strange scheduling of Friday Night Dinner seems to be doing it no favours as the sitcom slipped to a disappointing 900k viewers (4.3%) at 10pm.

On Saturday the fifth series of Merlin continues to entertain and 5.7m (22.9%) people saw the concluding part of ‘Arthur’s Bane’, scheduled in a later-than-usual time slot.

Saturday also saw the airing of the final, postponed, episode of Good Cop on BBC One which drew in 1.9m (12.4%). Over on BBC Two, something nasty started to hit the fan in The Thick of It as 893k (3.7%) saw Malcolm Tucker express himself in a way that only he can.

Finally, BBC One’s new comedy Me and Mrs Jones, starring Misfits’ Robert Sheehan, debuted on Friday to a respectable, if not dazzling, 3.1m (14.2%) viewers, almost 2m less than tuned into Have I Got News For You directly before it.

> Order the Series 5 Volume 1 DVD of Merlin on Amazon.

Watch the trailer for Series 5 of Merlin

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

What did you enjoy on TV at the weekend? Let us know below…

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