TV Overnights: New Tricks ends a week early but secures 9pm slot for BBC One

23 Oct 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

Last night saw New Tricks and Monroe battle it out for the 9pm slot for the fourth week in a row. And for a fourth (and last) time James Nesbitt's virtuoso surgeon stumbled away defeated, tending to a bloody nose.

Last time on New Tricks, the old dogs got tangled up in old Stasi business and the final episode upped the game. Now they're only getting caught up with shadowy MI5 business!

Monday night saw the boss' old mate targeted for assassination, dragging plenty of old secrets into the light. The UCOS team's latest bout of old fashioned snooping secured 7.4 million viewers, resulting in a 30% share.

The current series was initially scheduled to end next week but the penultimate episode had to be pulled by the BBC in light of the storyline sharing many similarities with the Jimmy Savile scandal. Super bad timing.

Over on ITV1, the second series of Monroe continued apace. The dynamic and self-assured team of surgeons dealt with a new set of patients, each bringing their quirky issue to the operating table.

When it all got a bit much for the talented brain butchers, they could always have a quiet moment - looking sadly out a window, yet finding comfort in a generic and melancholic indie tune of the day. The latest episode brought in 2.7 million viewers for the 9pm time slot, resulting in an 11% share.

Channel 5 brought us the substandard sequel Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines at 9pm, a film reminiscent of a theme park ride. The twist this time was that the killing machine sent back in time looked like a malnourished female model. It could have been so much more fun if a seven foot muscle-bound Austrian milkmaid materialised in her place.

The films also saw Arnie attempting to inject some cuddliness and humanity in to his own killing machine character, resulting in some awkward moments that are more horrific to watch than the nuclear disaster. The film captured one million viewers with an audience share of 5% tuning in for that impressively downbeat ending.

Buried deep in the late night schedule was the Panorama special Jimmy Savile: What The BBC Knew at 10:30pm on BBC One. The investigation focused on the BBC's handling of abuse claims which went back many years. Incorporating interviews originally filmed for the controversially-cancelled Newsnight expose last year, the documentary netted an impressive five million viewers and a 38% share.

The overnight figure for 3 October shows that the original programme that kicked off the numerous investigations, ITV1's Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, was watched by only 1.7 million viewers due to its 23:10pm time slot.

Earlier on the BBC, things were a little less sordid. If the sight of soggy bottoms, spilt mixtures, badly kneaded dough and panic attacks induced by flat buns peaked your stress levels during this years' Great British Bake Off, then BBC Two had the perfect antidote. Last night was your chance to watch Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood put their reputation to the test. The talented twosome whipped up treacle tarts and the much-feared plaited loaf, making this year's contestants look like the amateurs they were.

Naturally, the lack of competition and the nature of this supplementary show had a serious effect on audience figures. 2.4 million viewers tuned in to watch a 77 year old get hypnotised by Paul's aggressive kneading, resulting in a 10% share. So this is what they got up to when they disappeared for hours on end. I had my suspicions.

University Challenge followed at 8pm, grabbing BBC Two's biggest audience of the day with 3.2 million viewers. At 8:30pm Nigella Lawson nearly reached the end of her domestic tether, with a penultimate bash in her fake intercontinental abode.

Putting her interpersonal issues aside (you'll always find her in the kitchen at parties), Nigella left her hired goons to mingle 'outside' while she hung out with her real friends - us. Last night's round of lamb chops brought in the lowest audience the series has seen, down 24% on the opening episode with 1.9 million viewers (an 8% share) tuning in.

Earlier on ITV1, Emmerdale broke the soap waters, flooding the nations with a plethora of high emotions. The gentile story about everyday village life is still riding strong on the back of last week's anniversary, grabbing an impressive 7.7 million viewers (a 35% share) last night.

7:30pm on ITV1 saw Steve McDonald's long list of idiotic decisions grow even further, as his latest fool-proof plan backfired. Steve planned to destroy Tracy's source of power, her horcrux if you will, by terminating his relationship with Michelle, thereby making the unholy union of Tracy/Ryan invalid.

Unfortunately he failed to inform Michelle of his master plan, thereby coming across as just a bit of a sleeveen. The first episode of Coronation Street was Monday's big hitter, pulling in an audience of 8.6 million viewers and a 35% audience share. The second trip to Weatherfield at 8:30pm managed a 7.9 million viewers and a 32% share.

EastEnders at 8pm on BBC One saw Lola receive a very scary offer. What is the normal reaction to Phil Mitchell showing up at your door asking you to sign over your child to his care? Unfortunately Lola had very little choice but to share responsibility with her distant relation. This will probably all end well. The London soap attracted 7.6 million viewers and pulled in a 31% 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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