TV Overnights: EastEnders (just barely) ruins Emmerdale's party

19 Oct 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

The revelries in the Yorkshire Dales continued last night with an hour and a half of Emmerdale programming on ITV1. There must have been many a sore head after Wednesday night's live celebrations - but it's a safe bet that even the strongest dose of Alka-Seltzer wasn't going to make a bit of difference to the state of Carl King's head.

The first episode at 7pm saw the malicious countryside kingpin's bludgeoned body being discovered, sending shockwaves around the village. 7.2 million viewers tuned in to see if Cameron got away with murder, resulting in a 35% audience share. Let's just hope he disposed of the brick in a careful and methodical fashion.

The second visit at 8pm saw the police investigation in full swing as locals were questioned. Despite being a cheater, murderer and thief (and all round scoundrel) Cameron escaped the clutches of justice, allowing his secret mistress Chas to believe she was responsible for King's death. The second visit of the day was down slightly, with 6.5 million viewers (a 30% share) watching Carl's brother Jimmy being carted away by the fuzz.

This was followed by the first episode of Emmerdale at 40 at 8:30pm, a talking heads clip show in a very similar vein to The Corrie Years. Last night saw faces of Beckindale past and present discuss the headline grabbing plots from the last 40 years. 3.7 million people tuned in for a reminder of all the shocking events that can take place in a sleepy hamlet, netting a 17% share.

Thursday night's 9pm offerings from the two big players dealt with issues of security through two extremely different spectrums.

BBC brought us the third episode of Hunted at 9pm and poor Sam's life wasn't getting any more tranquil. Last night, the spy-for-hire spent some time at a lush country retreat; unfortunately this being the show it is there was no time for relaxing.

After the numerous violent encounters and near death experiences over the past two episodes you'd think there would be some let up in the action stakes, but no. Naturally Sam was there as part of a dangerous undercover ploy. To make things even worse, she only went and bumped in to super Euro villain Bernard Faroux - their combined history is complicated to say the least.

The high-energy twisty labyrinth of a show attracted the exact same audience week on week, bringing in 3.4 million viewers. Although this was down 1 million people compared to the first episode, it still managed to secure a 15% audience share.

Up against all the running and tumbling was a drama of the more sedate kind (relatively speaking) on ITV1. The fourth visit to the long suffering military wives on Homefront attracted an 11% share, as the inquest in to the death of Tasha's husband finally came around. Tensions were high as relatives had to choose between family and honour. The episode secured 2.3 million viewers, the second lowest audience of the series so far.

Sandwiched between the birthday soap was EastEnders (BBC One, 7:30pm) and in typical rude boy fashion, it just had to go and ruin the party. It was the aftermath of the civil partnership and all the Masood family secrets came flooding out.

That wasn't the only mess left to clean up - Fat Boy paid Denise a visit after their recent romantic tangle. The east London soap captured the biggest audience of the night, with 7.6 million viewers (a 36% share) tuning in to see the odd couple unable to control themselves.

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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