Published on May 1st, 2011 | by Christian Cawley
Ratings Down, Reputation Up
Yeah, doom and gloom merchants, the weather is working in your favour. A few more weeks of hot sunny weather following the consecutive Bank Holiday weekends and you’ll be able to consign Doctor Who to history and return to your nostalgic 1970s DVDs with a cup of ovaltine and forget that the RTD/Moffat eras ever happened.
Good luck with that.
What the overnight figures reveal is that while Doctor Who only managed 5.4 million viewers, ITV’s People do the Funniest Things struggled to hit 2 million. Meanwhile Don’t Scare the Hare attracted 1.4 million viewers before Doctor Who and So You Think You Can Dance had 3.2 million.
There is clearly a pattern emerging: although it is disappointing that viewing figures are down, it is across the board. People aren’t deserting Doctor Who – which acts like tent pole in BBC One’s ratings – they’re deserting TV on a Saturday evening because it is largely dreadful.
Doctor Who managed just over 30% of the audience share for its timeslot, and came in second in that and audience figures for the night to ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent later in the evening, which drew a massive 9.5 million viewers.
Given that BBC One’s news at 10.15 pm was the third most watched broadcast of the day, then the dire state of British TV on a Saturday evening should become clear.
However it isn’t all bad news. As we know, Doctor Who is a major draw on BBC iPlayer so while these figures are not counted in official viewing figures, when released they will provide a better impression of the truth.
And as our reviewer Elton Townend Jones points out, this new series of Doctor Who is possibly the most ambitious yet. We’ll be looking back on Season 32 as one of the greatest ever in a few years time…