TV Overnights: 2.7m meet the next generation of Ewings on Channel 5

06 Sep 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

Channel 5 ushered in a new era of deception, power plays and family squabbling at 9pm with the new generation of oil barons having seemingly learned nothing from their parent's legacy. The reboot/continuation of Dallas also featured a few familiar faces as the three main players from the original series returned.

Bobby now sits at the head of the table in Southfork, dispensing paternal advice and keeping the spirit of Miss Ellie alive. Meanwhile Sue Ellen floated around like a soft-focus apparition, having decided to avoid ageing in the last 21 years.

The show opened with cocky John Ross Ewing striking oil on the family land, kicking off another few years of inhaling whiskey at breakfast, dramatic glances and disruptive family meals. The main attraction though was the elder John Ross; the years haven't been kind and the former oil tycoon sat alone in a nursing home staring vacantly in to the distance.

A visit from his terminally ill brother Bobby sparked a fire inside JR and it wasn't long before viewers saw the iconic villain regain his superpowers. All in time for an eventful family wedding, or course. The first nugget of nostalgic drama attracted Channel 5's biggest audience of the day. 2.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the reunion of the original dysfunctional American family, resulting in a 12% share.

Up against the resurrection of the Texan scoundrel was a very English take of family life and greed over on ITV1. New series Mrs. Biggs (9pm) charted the early years of the future wife of the great train robber, pulling in a 17% audience share. Told from Charmian's point of view, the first episode saw a young Ronnie Briggs corrupt the middle-class catch and it wasn't long before she was stealing money from her job and they were off to elope.

Board-treader and former Two Pints of Lager... actress Sheridan Smith starred as the eponymous anti-hero. A total of 3.8 million viewers watched the first of five parts, which ended with the famous train caper.

BBC One offered up a different kind of drama in the 9pm slot as Annie Lennox became the latest celebrity to step up to the Pandora's Box of tragedy. Who Do You Think You Are? has been pulling few punches this year but the former Eurythmics singer was left (comparatively) unshaken. 4.1 million viewers watched as Lennox delved in to her Aberdeenshire past to unearth a lot of poverty, securing an 18% audience share.

ITV1 held the monopoly on viewer's soap fix last night, kicking things off with Emmerdale at 7pm. The tension at Home Farm reached boiling point as everyone remained blind to Robbie's manipulative behaviour except Katie, capturing  5.7 million viewers (a 30% share).

The biggest audience of the day belonged to Coronation Street at 7:30pm with Wednesday's episode featuring the arrival of a familiar face on the cobbles. Fresh off a flight from Spain, Sue Johnston joined the street as Stella's mum Gloria.

Gloria showed up to keep a low profile for a while, after escaping some dodgy business dealings. Someone should warn her Weatherfield is probably not the best place for the quiet life. 6.9 million viewers watched Gloria stir up trouble almost immediately, pulling in a 34% audience share.

Overnight data is available each morning in mediatel.co.uk's TV Database, with all BARB registered subscribers able to view reports for terrestrial networks and key multi-channel stations.

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