Last Alteration: Friday 16 November 2018
This page looks at the ratings seen for the 2005 series of Doctor Who, and places the show in context with the programmes around it. Data is based upon the public figures made available by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, which covers the weekly sweep of the top thirty programmes rated on the main terrestrial channels, plus overnight information presented by ViewingFiguresTV.
Return of a series
From the moment of the official announcement of its return to television on 8th March, Doctor Who was heavily promoted both on television, radio and the media; almost a day didn't pass by without some mention of the show; programmes covering it included the usual suspects like Blue Peter and Newsround, but there was also healthy coverage on "the other side" with both This Morning and Entertainment Today running quite lengthy items on the show's return. Finally, Good Friday witnessed Christopher Eccleston on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross - with all this publicity was there any chance of failure?!!!
However, the known challenger to the series' success would be Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, which started broadcasting a fortnight before; being a popular duo, this show might well pull a potential audience away from the premiere, and certainly the first couple of weeks on air showed the show was doing okay, with 8.67m (12th), and 8.49m (19th). BBC programmes around the 7:00pm slot were not in the top 30 at all, with only the National Lottery and still-popular Casualty pulling back viewers later in the evening.
26th March 2005: Rose
Keen speculation on how the new episode would fare raged across the Net throughout the evening, with the general optimism that it ought to manage seven million or so. However, the Overnight figures were to astound everybody with 9.94 million tuning in, and Saturday night dominance of the chart!
The overnight figures indicated that Doctor Who achieved its average with an audience share of 43.2%, and a peak at 10.6 million; Ant & Dec on the other hand achieved 7.2 million viewers and a 31.4% share. This was way above anybody's expectations, including the BBC itself. Said Head of Comissioning Jane Tranter: "I told myself I'd be completely and utterly thrilled if it got 6.5 million, but there was a little voice inside whispering '4.5 million'." She also indicated that the show had scored 81% in audience appreciation research ...
... which was enough to see a new series officially commissioned on Tuesday 29th March, less than three days after the first episode went on air!
Of course, the offical BARB figures would give the final result, taking into account the number of people who watched it from a recording in the coming few days after broadcast ("timeshift"). These figures were released on Wednesday 6th April and showed a final rating as 10.81 million, positioned third in the BBC's Top 30 shows for the week (ending 27th March, i.e. Mon-Sun), and seventh overall. The top slots were taken up by Eastenders (11.5m and 11.4m), and old adversary Coronation Street (13.1m, 12.6m, 12.3m, 12.0m). So Casualty finally lost it's traditional top slot on a Saturday night (but still second for the evening as a whole!)
2nd April: The End of the World
It was a week that had seen the show officially renewed for a second series, and then it's main star promptly (apparently) quitting before the second episode is even aired! Publicity-wise, the show remained in the papers (for much of the above reasons), and we also saw another Entertainment Today covering the show, plus a further Newsround Showbiz going behind the scenes of the episode. Jonathan Ross had also (inevitably) commented on his previous week's guest sudden departure, and then proceeded to pummel Eddie Izzard into taking the role!
But what would this do to the ratings?
As the overnights came in, dismay at the decline to only 7.25 million viewers was mediated by the general news that ratings throughout that Saturday evening were lower, maybe due to the much warmer, sunnier day experienced in the UK. At any rate, Doctor Who had a share of 35.05% of the audience, again beating Ant & Dec, who achieved a 30.85% share with 6.02 million viewers.
The BARB figures on the 13th showed that Who had retained the top spot for Saturday evening entertainment, beating Casualty by a mere 100,000 viewers! Overall, the show was in sixth place on BBC1 this week, beaten by all four episodes of Eastenders and Wednesday's Match of the Day Live; it was 18th in the combined chart, but when taking into account the multiple installments of soaps it came in as the seventh overall programme watched, behind the 'biggies' Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Heartbeat, plus that football match and an instalment of Midsomer Murders.
Saturday evening also saw the first live broadcast of a drama series on the BBC in almost 20 years, with a remake of Nigel Kneale's The Quatermass Experiment (starring new series writer Mark Gatiss and new Doctor David Tennant amongst others!) - this was the highest rated programme on BBC4 that evening, with 530000 viewers (the Wednesday repeat also did well, reaching 3rd place for that week with 170000 viewers).
9th April: The Unquiet Dead
Onto part three, and this week saw two major news items in the death of Pope John Paul II, and the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles - the latter being shifted a day later onto Saturday due to the former's funeral arrangements.
Advertising-wise, trailers for the episode carried on throughout the week, plus another Pick of the Day from GMTV on Friday. Positive viewer comments were made about the series on Sunday's Points of View, and on the same day the Heaven and Earth show featured Christopher Eccleston. He appeared a day later on Blue Peter in character after an item about making a Dalek out of a compost bin!
The overnight's for this episode showed a stronger audience with some 8.34 million watching, peaking at 8.91, having a 36% share; Ant & Dec again failed to pull back it's own viewers, achieving 7.13 million viewers (32% share).
The BARB results on the 20th presented another Saturday night win for Who, with it's 8.86 million viewers beating Ant & Dec's 7.26 million and Casualty's 8.48 million. The show was fifth-rated on BBC1 for the week overall (no football this time!), and fourteenth in the combined chart - soap-dominated as always, with the exception of the ITV show Heartless just beating Who at 8.00 million viewers.
The Royal Wedding scored in the charts twice, with the initial Registry segment witnessed by 5.25 million, and the Chapel service by 7.36 million - this made the Royal couple more popular than the other 'couple' against us! Also of note was The Grand National, which saw 8.21 million tune in - all-in-all a strong Saturday all round for the BBC!
Channel 4's new documentary series Supernanny fared quite well, achieving 4.97 million viewers on the Tuesday evening.
16th April: Aliens of London
The series was once again plunged into the publicity spotlight, but this time due to it's "scary content"! Over 90 complaints were received by the BBC Complaints department on this subject, causing them to release a quick statement to say that the series was not suitable for under-8s! Quickly withdrawn, the official statement is that parents should always determine what is suitable for their children to watch, and trailers are run as a guideline. However, trailers for Aliens of London were suspiciously absent for most of the week, and even then just a short teaser of the St. Stephen's Tower spaceship collision ...
Further publicity came with the announcement of David Tennant as the new Doctor, taking over from Christopher Eccleston for the new series; in another of the BBC's bizarre late night press releases we were officially told just after midnight on Saturday morning, a bit late for many papers and only warranting a brief news item on Breakfast news that morning.
Perhaps not too surprisingly since the series wasn't trailed much during the week with 'exciting' teasers, the overnights for this episode saw Doctor Who lose ground to ITV for the first time, so far; it achieved 6.98 million viewers with a 33.9% share, whereas Ant & Dec scraped past it with 7.12 million viewers and a 35.5% share of the audience - most likely helped by this being the finale of the series and featuring actor Will Smith!
However, will the BARB figures change the outcome, once recordings are taken into account ... ?
... yes! Once the timeshift recordings had been taken into account, Doctor Who came out on top above Ant & Dec, gaining a crucial 330,000 more viewers. Casualty regained the higher rating, putting it back into fifth place in the ratings, after Eastenders of course. Who's overall 18th placing was down to the usual multiple soaps.
Supernanny again did well for Channel 4, squeezing past the 5 million mark (5.03), and their Grand Designs saw 4.52 million - both dropped Dance Fever down a couple of places in the overall ranking. Other shows of interest in the schedules included the return of ITV's William and Mary on Sunday, which achived 7.61 million viewers (just beaten by Who!), and Saturday night's Madonna Mania, which only scraped in 4.92 million. The broadcast of the BAFTA Awards on BBC1 on Sunday saw 4.61 millions viewers tuning in.
23rd April: World War Three
The television battleground for the next episode is set, with the new ITV programme Celebrity Wrestling lined up against part two of the current story. After a lack of trailers for the previous episode, this week has seen a - monster-laden - one broadcast much more often, shown back-to-back with Saturday Dance Fever.
Thursday evening saw Richard & Judy discussing the episode with Sylvester McCoy and Nicholas Briggs, though this was more aimed at the following week's "Dalek" episode! Friday saw Entertainment Today featuring a chat with Billie Piper during her filming for Much Ado About Nothing, and Noel Clarke was in studio to promote the Saturday episode. Further "promotion" of the show could be seen with references to the series in three Friday night shows, Eastenders, Have I Got News For You, and Tonight with Jonathan Ross.
The overnights showed a slight improvement on the ratings from the previous week, with 7.26 million viewers tuning in to watch; however, much more significantly the ITV opposition failed to engage the interest of the audience at all, with the show seen by a mere 3.8 million viewers! This meant that Doctor Who effectively dominated the slot this week, achieving a high 38% audience share against the wrestling's 20.8%. Casaulty topped the evening again with 7.72 million viewers tuning in.
The BARB results for the evening showed that once again some 700,000 more viewers recorded the show to watch later, bringing the final count to 7.98 million; as we've come to expect it was 6th in the BBC chart and 20th overall, beaten as always by only Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Casualty and Heartbeat. Of the Saturday night as a whole, the BBC held sway with it's 7:00-9:00pm line-up, with the new National Lottery Come and Have a Go proving popular enough to stop ITV's Hit Me Baby results even getting into the top thirty for ITV.
Sunday evening was more ITV's suit, with Heartbeat and William and Mary their highest non-soap shows (9.32m and 7.42m respectively). BBC1 showed the first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which held 5.28m viewers' attention. Channel 4's Grand Designs and Supernanny were at the top of its chart again, swapping gold and silver places (4.72m and 4.13m viewers respectively).
30th April: Dalek
With another ratings triumph under the belt, this week sees the return of the Daleks and (hopefully!) an increasing array of media hype to guarantee the audience! Assuming Celebrity Wrestling isn't going to see a sudden surge of interested viewers, perhaps the only risk to the story's success in the coming weekend might be Channel 4's broadcast of the first Tolkien epic The Fellowship of the Ring, which includes a documentary starting at 7:15pm - the film itself is on at 7:45pm (so someone probably thought about the schedules!).
Promotion-wise, we had the mention on Richard & Judy last week; after World War Three ended there were trailers throughout the rest of the weekend to promote Dalek, featuring a scene segment of the Doctor's first realisation of who he wants to help ... We were also treated to the second front cover on the Radio Times! Further promotion appeared on Friday with a behind-the-scenes look on Dalek on Blue Peter, and Billie Piper talking about Who and her life in general on Richard & Judy. Saturday morning saw Nicholas Briggs demonstrating dalek voices on BBC Breakfast, and further promotion on CBBC's Newsround Showbiz.
The overnights for this week showed that the expectation of the Daleks' return was not unfounded, with the show receiving 7.83 million viewers (42.73% of the audience share), and peaked at some 8.73 million (45.9%)! ITV's Celebrity Wrestling lost more ground, dropping to 3.05 million (17.73%). Doctor Who managed to achieve the best ratings for the day, with the usual winner Casualty slipping to second place this week with 7.3 million viewers.
The BARB results concluded that Doctor Who was firmly grounded as the evening's highest rated programme, with it's final 8.63 million viewers almost a million viewers more than Casualty's 7.69m! ITV's schedule was confirmed as a wipeout, with none of the early evening programmes making their Top 30 for the week. Doctor Who was the highest "non-soap" for the week, with Heartbeat slipping in at 8.08 million.
Channel Four's broadcast of The Fellowship of the Ring pulled in 3.97 million viewers (5th in their chart), but the preceeding documentary Quest for the Ring that was up against Who didn't appear in the Top 30 at all. Out of interest, Sunday's Britain's Most Watched TV ended up being watched by some 2.2 million (grin).
BBC1's heavily trailed Genghis Khan for Monday was watched by 6.6 million (with 4.89 million watching ITV's Hell's Kitchen in the 9:00pm timeslot); Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom on Sunday had 5.02 million, against previously mentioned Heartbeat (8.08m) and William and Mary (6.19m). As well as Supernanny (5.08m) and Grand Designs (4.94m), Channel 4's broadcast of the documentary film Super-Size Me made 3rd place in their chart at 4.47 million viewers.
7th May: The Long Game
After the blaze of publicity of the former story, this installment saw very little promotion, either on screen or off! About the only mention of Doctor Who on BBC1 during the week was a reference to the episode after Friday's Eastenders - no trailers ran at all (as far as I know!).
But then, who needs promotion?!!
In spite of the lack of publicity, Doctor Who still pulled in a healthy 7.51 million viewers, taking a 39% share of the audience; ITV's Celebrity Wrestling saw a mere 2.56 million (14.1% share) tune in, and recent media comments indicate that the show might be pulled very soon as it has failed to capture the public's imagination! Casualty was back on top of the BBC chart as usual, seen by 7.82 million (but in terms of share came second with 35.8%!).
The BARB results were a little later this week (Friday), but they showed pretty much what we've come to expect: BBC1 tops the chart once again, with Casualty pulling in 8.35 million viewers (5th most rated BBC1 programme for the week), Doctor Who 6th with 8.01 million, and the National Lottery programme 7th with 6.25 million. ITV on the other hand managed to scrape 5.17 million viewers for their Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, and 3.71 million for Celebrity Stitch Up; Celebrity Wrestling failed to make the ITV Top 30 once again. Doctor Who was the 17th rated programme this week - no prizes for guessing which shows took the top slots(!), but ITV's Champion's League match on Tuesday night also scored quite highly, with 8.69 million viewers.
BBC1's broadcast of A Party To Remember to celebrate VE Day, which also featured Christopher Eccleston reading a poem, reached 9th place in their charts (5.85m).
14th May: Father's Day
A 10 second trailer is running for this episode, though not seen that much during the week; however, further effective promotion came on Thursday evening with a Dead Ringers sketch, and on Friday with The Lenny Henry Show commenting on a new, 'randy' Doctor for the TARDIS, and Have I Got News For You mentioning budget cuts. GMTV didn't make it a Pick of the Day this time, though they did choose both Hit Me Baby One More Time and Celebrity Stitch Up which surround it! The following Entertainment Today did cite the show as worth watching though, plus a clip from the episode!
The overnight results show that the audience for Saturday evening is remaining fairly consistent; some 7.47 million viewers tuned in for Doctor Who (a better audience share of 42.74%), whilst Celebrity Wrestling managed 2.34 million (14.23% share). Casualty was the highest rated programme once more, at 7.53 million viewers (share 36.26%).
Doctor Who edges ahead of Casualty once again this week to take the top spot for Saturday evening viewing figures; other than that there is little to distinguish this week's results from last week! In the overall charts, Who is once again beaten by the usual suspects, though this time is just pipped to 16th place by the ITV broadcast of the British Soap Awards, which saw 8.14 million tune in.
For other shows, the second series of New Tricks on BBC1 took the next slot in the BBC charts (7th with 7.86 million on Monday), and the final Indiana Jones film performed best of the trilogy with 6.63 million watching it take 8th place on Sunday. The heavily trailed Indian drama Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee saw a reduced 4.95 million watching it's debut on Tuesday evening, but still best watched in it's timeslot. For ITV, the Big Fight on Saturday evening between Khan and Kindelan brought in 4.64 million viewers.
21st May: The Empty Child
A bit of contention with this episode as, with the annual Eurovision Song Content on at 8:00pm, the schedules have been altered and the episode has moved to an earlier slot. Originally thought to be 6:25pm, the announcement at the end of Father's Day cited 6:30pm as the start time, and this was confirmed on the BBC web site schedule showing the slot as 6:30-7:10pm - only 40 minutes!
More speculation over the shortened slot came with news announcements during the week that the episode would be but! Says series producer Phil Collinson: "It's a little thing involving the scene with Richard Wilson's character and the gas mask. The whole sound effect that went with that was a lot more visceral. We watched it for the first time and said that was crossing over the line because it was a bit too horrible." However, it seems that the cuts are very minor, and the episode itself only has a running time of about 41 minutes.
Once again the episode wasn't really trailed until Friday evening, with the short ten second trailer like last week's with a single scene to illustrate the episode (Rose hanging from a barrage balloon); it was shown after Newsround, and before and after Top of the Pops, and before Jonathan Ross.
ITV has finally given up the ghost on Celebrity Wrestling, and are now showing a range of films, starting with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, tying in with the release of Revenge of the Sith which opens in cinemas this month - but will it be a match for Doctor Who, especially in the altered time slot?
Well, the answer is still no, with The Empty Child having some 6.6m versus 3.5m for Phantom Menace; audience share was 34.9% and 19% respectively. The second half of the film saw a few more people tune in (4.2m 22.1%), and Eurovision understandably pulled in the audience later in the evening, with 7.9 million viewers (38.8%) tuning in to watch Greece win the contest. The penalty shoot-out for the F.A. Cup did extremely well, however, with some 12.8 million (67% share!) watching.
The BARB figure sees an additional 1/2 million viewers added on to the tally, with Doctor Who's 7.11 million viewers putting it into 8th place in the BBC chart this week and 21st overall. There were two traditional BBC annual heavyweights to contend with this weekend though; Saturday saw both the Eurovision Song Contest dominating Saturday evening (5th place at 7.97 million), and the F.A. Cup Final scoring 7th place with an overall average of 7.30 million across its whole afternoon programme. ITV performed 'normally' for the Saturday, with The Phantom Menace watched by some 4.09 million viewers (averaged across both parts in the evening). The grand final of Hit Me Baby One More Time had no chance against Eurovision, failing to register in the ITV Top 30.
Generally, Doctor Who was beaten by the usual soaps and highly-rated drama series on ITV, with William and Mary getting 7.51 million to slip into 19th place above Who and Match of the Day; however the return of BBC series New Tricks on Monday achieved 7.54 million viewers and took 6th place in the BBC charts (18th overall), making it the highest overall drama programme of the week (not counting "soap" Heartbeat of course!).
Of the week in general, ITV's Elvis by the Presleys managed 6.22 million viewers on a Wednesday evening (16/27); the much touted Celebrity Love Island got a reasonable premiere on the Monday with 5.62 million viewers, but then dropped off to 3.98m (Tue), 3.92m (Thu), 3.80m (Fri), and 4.02m on Sunday - neither Wednesday or Saturday's beach exploits reached Friday's 3.80 million. BBC's Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee on Tuesday improved slightly with 5.02 million tuning in.
28th May: The Doctor Dances
A little unexpectedly, ITV aren't going to show Attack of the Clones, but have decided to broadcast the big sci-fi fantasy film The X-Men against Doctor Who instead. And not a sign of anything "celebrity" on the schedule!
Tuesday's Richard & Judy show had a discussion about the London Eye, and Richard suddenly introduced a clip from Rose featuring the London icon!
No mention on the Friday morning breakfast shows this time. However, the Lenny Henry show mentioned Billie Piper's supposed departure from the next series, and Have I Got News For You had another quip about budget cuts for the series. Trailer-wise, the traditional burst of Doctor Who trailers appeared during the evening, following the news, Eastenders and before Jonathan Ross, though they accidentally broadcast the Father's Day trailer after Neighbours! A couple more trailers on the Saturday completes the pre-publicity ...
... which doesn't do too much damage, with the sunny day leading to lower audiences all round; the overnights show Doctor Who still holding the greater share of the audience (35.9%) with 6.17 million viewers, with ITV's X-Men seen by 3.2 million (19.9%).
With Casualty skipping a week, no surprises to see Doctor Who the most rated Saturday evening show; the public-interactive general knowledge show Test the Nation performed well as the hospital drama replacement, beating the ITV drama Murder in Suburbia which came on later in the evening (21:20, 4.27m). Ratings were generally down across the board for this Bank Holiday Saturday, but the consistent audience shares reported earlier show that those not enjoying the good weather on Saturday still watched the same kind of programmes!
Across the BBC chart, Doctor Who was again beaten by Eastenders and New Tricks (Mon 9:00pm, 8.25m); Casualty's spin-off series Holby City is normally in the top-ten, but for the first time overtook Who into sixth place with a slightly larger audience of 7.11 million from their usual 6.5 million range. ITV's chart saw the usual suspects in their top eleven, though for once Who actually beat a soap, with Sunday's Emmerdale installment having 6.54 million watching.
Elsewhere, the new series of Murphy's Law started on Thursday evenings at 9:00pm, but didn't quite see off ITV's Footballer's Wives (5.30m and 5.84m respectively); meanwhile, former Doctor Peter Davison's The Last Detective also returned on Sundays, achieving 6.37 million viewers against BBC's showing of the film Cast Away (4.23m).
And finally, the ever diminishing popularity of reality television on ITV gets dealt another blow with the return of Big Brother to Channel 4, whose inaugural show on Friday night was watched by 6.04 million people, the highest rated programme on terrestrial television for the 9:00pm timeslot! The following days' shows were a more modest 3.56m and 4.04m respectively; Celebrity Love Island from Monday on ITV saw 4.25m, 4.14m, <3.31m, 4.28m, and none of the others about 3.31m. (Thursday 9th June saw ITV announce that two of their reality shows, Fat Families and The Real Good Life have both been dropped due to their lack of popularity.)
4th June: Boom Town
It's the final of Strictly Dance Fever this week, but as to whether Arnie on the other side will have something to say about the ratings for the finale and Doctor Who remains to be seen!
Friday saw the usual 10 second teaser-style trailer in it's "The One For Drama" format, shown at various times during the late afternoon/evening, this time with the Slitheen head emerging from it's human cover. The last show of Have I Got News For You for this season continued the running joke with Ian Hislop as the next Doctor, this time with him and Ann Widdicombe replacing Chris and Billie!
Doctor Who comfortably won its slot at 7:00pm again, but unsurprisingly Casualty did the best for the evening, with an average of 7.83 million viewers.
Papers took up on the "bad wolf" theme running through the series, with both the Telegraph and Guardian commenting on it's potential significance (the name of the next story notwithstanding!); the Herald was more interested in the TARDIS's new powers!
Around a million more viewers in general stayed in this Saturday evening compared to last week, reflected in all of the regular BBC shows, though not quite so significant for ITV's schedule. Later on in the evening, ITV's Murder in Suburbia (4.33m) fell into the shadow of the Strictly Dance Fever's best performance in the charts, with the final results of the competition seen by 6.66 million (the third highest rated show of the evening).
In the general chart, no change in the usual programmes rating better (New Tricks pulling 7.72 million), and Holby City back below Doctor Who with 6.78 million; once again Sunday evening's Emmerdale slipped below, too (7.21m). Murphy's Law retained it's audience (5.32 million this week), but ITV's reality programme Ladette to Lady opposite wasn't quite so popular (4.99m). The Last Detective on ITV Sunday pulled in 6.18 million against the BBC's new David Dimbleby vehicle A Picture of Britain which saw 4.98 million art lovers tune in.
Reality roundup: Big Brother 3.82m, 3.86m, 4.81m, 4.63m, 5.22m, 2.90m, 4.18m; Celebrity Love Island 4.46m (Mon), 3.91m (Thu), 3.59m (Fri), and the rest unrated. For Channel 4, the reality show dominated the Top 10, with only Desperate Housewives to break up the house-mates at 4.34m and 4.32m.
11th June: Bad Wolf
For some reason the ITV schedules for next Saturday haven't been made available on their website yet(!), but opposition is currently expected to be the Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellern in the film X Men.
First publicity for the episode came from Points of View on Sunday 5th, with views on how scary The Empty Child had been, and then producer Julie Gardner talking about "thousands" of Daleks doing lots of scary and exciting things to look forward to!
Rather surprisingly there were no apparant trailers for Boom Town at all this week on the BBC, apart from some references on programme introductions. On the other hand, both GMTV and Entertainment Today featured it in their shows on Friday as a programme to watch on Saturday, featuring clips from "Big Brother" and "The Weakest Link" respectively!
The much brighter weather this Saturday meant that many more people were out for the day, reflected in the earlier evening shows not registering in the Top 30 at all; however, it would seem that they did get back in time for Doctor Who (with around 600,000 more watching it later). Unsurprisingly the BBC held the mid-evening's viewing once more, though the latter part fell back to ITV with Murder in Suburbia (9:25pm, 4.97m) versus the BBC news (9:25pm, 4.29m), and later with Celebrity Love Island (10:30pm, 3.68m).
Doctor Who slipped back to eighth place this week in the BBC chart, mainly due to the weekend weather impact; in pure numerical terms hospital drama Holby City was sixth with 7.16 million and Monday's New Tricks was watched by 6.85 million viewers. Murphy's Law maintained 5.36 million but ITV's Ladette to Lady slipped down to 4.48 milion. Sunday's The Last Detective (6.10m) again held it's own against A Picture of Britain (4.89m). The BBC saw a surprise chart entry for the News on Monday at 10:00pm, with some 5.57 million watching.
Reality Roundup: Big Brother 3.95m, 4.47m, 4.14m, 3.87m, 5.42m, 3.48m, 4.12m; Celebrity Love Island 4.90m, 3.67m, 3.75m, 4.23m, 4.32m, 3.68m, 3.85m; on average, not much between them, but then BB is still Channel 4's highest rated programme in general, with only Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares proving popular in second place with 4.47 million.
18th June: The Parting of The Ways
First bit of promotion for this story comes in the Sun, which reveals a massive spoiler on how the series is going to end.
There will be a another documentary on BBC1 prior to the final episode being broadcast; Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide has been made by the "Confidential" team, it brings together the elements seen in the series over the course of the last twelve episodes leading to the 'epic' final episode at 7:00pm. (Note: BBC online schedules currently have this listed as The Last Battle, the same name as the 'usual' Confidential on BBC3.)
Publicity-wise, after a dearth of trailers last week, the lead-up to this Saturday's episode suddenly saw a surge in advertising for the finale. The BBC Homepage has been advertising a trailer a day, premiering at 8:00pm on BBC1 and also available online from their site. Monday evening's showing before Eastenders was a ten second teaser scene from the episode, stating 5 Days Until The End ...; this same trailer was repeated after Eastenders and then throughout Tuesday (updated with 4 Days), with the new teaser broadcast after Eastenders that evening. Likewise, Wednesday also saw the Tuesday evening trailer broadcast until 8:00pm, when the new one aired.
After a special screening of the episode at BAFTA on Wednesday evening, unsurprisingly the following day's media was abuzz with spoilery comments about what we would see at the weekend (see our news article for more details on BAFTA etc.). Russell T Davies also appeared on Breakfast News that morning to talk about the show's success, and also included a brief clip from the forthcoming story (video).
Friday morning saw the usual Richard Arnold "Pick of the Day" on GMTV talking about the show, and later John Barrowman appeared on ITV's Entertainment Today talking about the final episode; meanwhile Radio 4's Today programme featured a programme on the impact of television on the public, including a mention of Doctor Who. BBC Radio Wales also covered the show, with Russell T Davies appearing on the Good Morning Wales programme, and general discussion on the Nicola Heywood Thomas show at lunchtime with John Barrowman, Antony Wainer of DWAS, Christian Barrie of Cardiff's Comic Guru Presents shop, and Daily Express writer Charlie Catchpole.
Saturday saw a skit on The Saturday Show, and then a brief interview with Russell T Davies on Newsround Showbiz talking about what "Bad Wolf" might mean. Meanwhile CBBCExtra on interactive channel 570 played a 15 minute Doctor Who special on a loop throughout the weekend, which featured Phil Collinson answering questions by viewers.
The overnights for the episode indicated that, though the overall viewers on such a sunny day was down to 6.1 million, it received a 41% share of the audience actually watching - Broadcast Now added that peak viewing reached 6.7 million (44% share) at 7:35pm as the regeneration approached; ITV's latest film offering opposite the show, Beverly Hills Cop, only managed 2.5 million (17.6% share). The episode reached the high spot for the evening ratings, beating Casualty, which saw 5.9 million tuning in (35% share). ITV's new quiz show, The Big Call was not up to the challenge of the medical drama, achieving only 2.6 million viewers (15% share). Documentary The Ultimate Guide was watched by 2.7 million (23%).
Saturday viewing again suffered as Britain's minor heatwave continued; as well as the lack of audience pre-Who, even Casualty dipped quite a bit this week; ITV's new game show The Big Call failed to make any dent at all, though Murder in Suburbia did pull in it's share of 4.22 million at 9:30pm (the BBC News was watched by 4.04m).
New Tricks just slipped down the eighth place (6.88m), but Holby City remained higher at sixth place with 6.94 million. No real change elsewhere; Murphy's Law had 5.10m versus Ladette to Lady's 4.23m; The Last Detective had 5.84m versus A Picture of Britain's 4.70m. However, the Monday evening News took the chart by storm, with a huge 7.28 million staying with BBC1 that evening to watch the live Michael Jackson trial verdict at 10:00pm!
From unreality to reality; no change there either really, with Big Brother maintaining it's edge over Celebrity Love Island, during the week, but the weekend's editions suffered lower ratings generally and allowed Relocation, Relocation and The Strangest Village in Britain to break into the Top 10 on Channel 4.And for the big sport event, Sunday's disasterous Grand Prix was watched by 4.52 million.
The Christmas Invasion
Almost unimaginably, the BBC played a trailer for the Christmas special on Saturday evening before Casualty, some three weeks before filming even begins! It consisted of a montage of clips from the series that has just finished. "The Countdown Begins..."
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