TV Overnights: BBC One’s Hunted uppercuts 4.5m in to submission

05 Oct 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

BBC One came out blazing in the battle for Thursday's 9pm slot with a heavily publicised new series. Last night saw the launch of hyber-paranoid espionage thriller Hunted, starring Angel from Home & Away.

The plot saw Samantha return to work at a private intelligence agency, after an attempt on her life by members of her own team (time to have a look on some recruitment sites, maybe?). Her first gig back saw Sam going undercover as a Nanny but it wasn't long before there was a lot of running and shaky cams a-plenty.

The episode played out like the Bourne franchise with heightened oestrogen and a streamlined budget. The aesthetic similarity to Spooks wasn't coincidental - production company Kudos also brought this newer spy spectacle to our screens.

Mellissa George sprinted, kicked and pouted her way through an hour of frenetic action, where trusting anyone simply wasn't an option. The tense drama got off to a strong start, packing in 4.5 million viewers, resulting in a 19% share. It remains to be seen if the next seven episodes of the convoluted plot-twister can keep hold of the audience's delicate attention spans.

On the flipside (ITV1, to me and you), the second episode of Homefront (9pm) continued to deal with the military fall out on a domestic front. A collection of familiar TV faces made up the wives and mothers of those serving on the front line. Last night saw Louisa suspect her husband of extra marital fumbles after she was emailed a rather dodgy picture. She may have been on to something, seeing that the husband is question is Bad Cop's Warren Brown.

The melodrama on the army base couldn't quite contend with Melissa George's hammer fist; the second slice of the emotional series  brought in 2 million viewers, down 33% on last week's opening episode.

Meanwhile on BBC Two, the third episode of The Choir: Sing While You Work (9pm) saw Gareth Malone terrorise selected members of staff at Manchester Airport. Everything you need to know about the show is in the title. Saying that, there was a big twist in store for viewers; people who Gareth initially dismissed and deemed unworthy because of their appearance could actually sing! Imagine? 2.2 million viewers (a 9.5% share), the same amount that tuned in for the first episode two weeks ago, all watched in hope of a choir members losing their cool and slapping Gareth Malone.

Channel 5 offered a different view on physical insecurities, finally giving us a makeover show that has a morsel of morality to its name. Making Faces (9pm) follows a maxillofacial department which makes replacement facial features. Last night saw a man being fitted with a prosthetic nose after his was ravaged by cancer and another had a new jaw made from bones taken from his arm. 723,000 million viewers tuned in to watch the life changing procedures.

Way off, in the nether regions of the digital world, Dave brought Lister, Cat, Rimmer and Kryten back for a tenth series. Red Dwarf X was very much in the mould of series of old, which saw the crew deal with an abandoned ship. And Rimmer's personal failures, naturally. The first episode captured an impressively high audience for Dave, with 1.5 million viewers tuning in.

Earlier on, the soaps dominated the schedule with double Emmerdale kicking things off at 7pm. The first episode grabbed an impressive 6.2 million viewers with the second episode at 8pm pulling in a smaller audience of 5.3 million. The storylines are currently building up to the live 40th anniversary episode in two weeks, hoping to capture audience interest.

It was up to EastEnders to steal away Thursday's biggest audience at 7:30pm. Another happy visit to Walford saw Kat beg Phil for her job back, even going so far as to sell her wedding ring in order to pay back-rent. After a lot of tears and shouting, silly old Phil allowed the Moons to move back in but under the watchful eye of Roxy. The gloomy soap attracted 6.7 million viewers and pulled in a 32% 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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