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Sherlock spawns Twitter rage and weekend's biggest audience

13 Jan 2014  |  Niall Johnson 
Sherlock spawns Twitter rage and weekend's biggest audience

Last Friday saw the weekday schedule end how it began, treating viewers to a mixture of slick, dependable thrillers, a bevy of light entertainment and the usual melodramatic soap action.

Coronation Street, of course, secured Friday's biggest audience with the first episode on ITV at 7:30pm. 8 million viewers tuned in as Hayley Cropper continued to crawl slowly towards her inevitable end, with a bit of slapstick comedy thrown in for good measure.

The second episode at 8:30pm, which saw husband Roy attempt to steal some strawberries, fell to 7.3 million viewers. Elsewhere in soapland, Emmerdale (ITV) managed an audience of 6.8 million at 7pm, while EastEnders (8pm) went and did one better, attracting 7.3 million viewers to BBC One.

In the 9pm line up, the forensic sleuths of Silent Witness (BBC One) faced off against their greatest threat yet - a nice cosy hour of chat with international friend of the famous, Mr Piers Morgan.

Helping him on his quest to overthrow the long running BBC show was soggy bottom-denier Mary Berry, who joined the honourable journalist for pre-rehearsed anecdotes on Piers Morgan's Life Stories (ITV).

In the end the ploy was futile, with the personal tales of tragedy and late-in-life superstardom only bringing in 2.4 million viewers, while the latest case in Silent Witness secured 5.5 million for BBC One.

Over on Channel 5, Evander Holyfield and his publicist were having a bad day as the former boxing champion was jettisoned from the Celebrity Big Brother (9pm) house to the tune of 2 million viewers.

Despite not setting the schedules alight, the show did secure the biggest activity on Twitter, generating 114,455 tweets throughout its broadcast, making it the most talked about show of the day.

As Saturday evening came to a close a new champion was crowned the king of the weekend fluff entertainment pack as the return of a struggling favourite took everyone by surprise.

While The Voice UK has spent the previous two years desperately attempting to convey its relevance in an overcrowded market, the debut of the third series at 7pm on BBC One silenced its highly vocal critics by grabbing the day's biggest audience.

Perhaps this can be accredited to the addition of the eternally youthful Kylie - her with the internationally-renowned guttural operatic voice - rightfully casting her judgement over hopeful singers.

Finalising the changeover of departed national-treasures-in-desperation (Jessie J and something called a Danny O'Donoghue) was Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson, silencing all those critics who said money can't buy credibility.

While the judging line-up was looking a little fresher, the format remained the exact same. The 'intense' blind auditions and 'unique' swivel-chaired action brought in a whopping 8.4 million viewers and a 35% share.

Which was simply terrible news for Tom Daley and his magical underwear. Splash (ITV) - the show about semi-clad semi-famous people competitively falling into water from great heights - returned after a successful a first series, only to be dismissed as last year's relic by fickle audiences.

The first episode from January last year - while hardly a critical success - did manage to secure an audience of 5.5 million viewers, while last Saturday night's return only managed 3.4 million viewers and a 14% share.

This must surely be a disappointment for ITV that, given the amount of media coverage around coach Tom Daley in recent weeks, was surely hoping for something better. In all likelihood - unless something spectacular happens - the interest surrounding The Voice UK should die down after a few weeks, leaving the second series of ITV's gimmicky diving show room to 'shine'.

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins continued BBC One's winning streak straight afterwards, with Nick Knowles' winning personality bagging a little under 6 million viewers. Up against the fiscal fun was Paddy McGuinness and the latest cattle mart-style auction on Take Me Out (ITV, 8pm), which managed an audience of just over 4 million (possibly tipsy) viewers.

Despite BBC One's sobering early Sunday line-up, ITV offered a last glimpse of weekend glamour at 6:15pm with Dancing on Ice. The last-ever all-star line-up continued to perform for their lives, securing 5.8 million viewers, with the skate-off at 8:30pm bagging exactly 5 million viewers.

Elsewhere the usual barrage of middle-aged programming continued to perform well for BBC One with Countryfile (6pm) bringing in 5.8 million, and Antiques Roadshow (7:30pm) securing 6.2 million.

After returning from the dead following a spectacularly final-looking suicide attempt three weeks ago, Sherlock (BBC One, 8:30pm) continued to push credibility to extreme levels, making Doctor Who's typical narrative look about as complicated as an episode of aforementioned Countryfile.

Last night's third series finale had a lot to live up to after a meandering run and - not only that - the master detective had to deal with the little matter of Dr Watson's mysteriously kooky new missus. And by kooky, I mean renegade government-contract killer.

All the signs had been peppered throughout the latest episodes but the big reveal sent fans into a meltdown, resulting in a whopping peak of 10,592 tweets per minute - a total of 377,182 throughout the hour and a half broadcast.

In total, the weekend's biggest audience of 8.8 million viewers tuned in to see Mary Watson being unmasked, securing a 32% share and a controversial end to BBC One's extremely successful show.

The Social TV Analytics report is a daily leaderboard displaying the latest social TV analytics Twitter data from SecondSync. The table shows the top UK TV shows as they are mentioned on Twitter, which MediaTel has correlated with the BARB overnight programme ratings for those shows (only viewable to BARB subscribers).

Overnight data is available each morning in's TV Database, with all BARB registered subscribers able to view reports for terrestrial networks and key multi-channel stations. Overnight data supplied by TRP are based on 15 minute slot averages. This may differ from tape checked figures, which are based on a programme's actual start and end time.

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22 May 2020 

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