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Niall Johnson 

Four weeks in and Broadchurch is beaten by Silent Witness

Four weeks in and Broadchurch is beaten by Silent Witness

Monday night brought another clash between ITV's ever-weakening and heavily-promoted mystery drama Broadchurch and BBC One's long-running but somehow-still-thrilling forensic drama Silent Witness at 9pm.

The highly anticipated second series of Broadchurch kicked off four weeks ago with an overnight figure of 7.3 million viewers, which even seemed disappointing to some considering the coverage the show has received in the twenty long months between the two series.

While the show possibly buckled under the intense pressure of providing another gripping storyline for the beloved characters, it seems viewers' interest ultimately cracked under the dense layer of mystery surrounding any aspect of the show's return.

It was to much disappointment, then, when it was finally revealed that series two would revolve around the fairly questionable trial of Danny's murderer and DI Hardy's even more questionable past.

What attracted audiences to ITV's sad little seaside town in the first place was the lack of procedural feel about the tragic story, with viewers confident that tale of Danny Latimer murder pretty much impossible to spin off into a never-ending franchise.

While that may not be the reality just yet, Hardy and Ellie Miller's (Olivia Coleman) current adventures in crying may still prove gripping for many viewers but hardly as essential as we were led to believe.

Last night, the regional detective drama managed to stem the flow of escaping viewers and hold on to the exact same audience as last week, with 5.2 million people (a 21% share) tuning in for the latest twists and turns.

For the third week in a row the Nordic-inspired drama clashed with BBC One's ancient procedural, Silent Witness, with its location-hopping and revolving-door cast making the Silent-Witnessshow barely recognisable as it careered towards the end of the eighteenth series.

Kicking off with a brand new two-part case involving a Russian oligarch and London-based assassinations, Dr Nicky and her team of fingerprint dusters (presumably) were exactly the kind of casual thrilling experience that Monday's audience were looking for.

An audience of 5.5 million went for the offer with less commitment on BBC One, resulting in a 23% share which resulted in the show netting the 9pm slot and beating Broadchurch.

Over on Channel 4, The Undateables (9pm) caught up with some old dates to see how they were getting on, bringing in 1.8 million and a 7% share and resulting in the channel's biggest hit of the day.

At the same time on Channel 5, Celebrity Big Brother (9pm) generated the most TV-related tweets of the day and sucked 2.2 million viewers (a 9% share) into its vortex of antagonistic sneering.

Later at 10pm, Irish comedian Sharon Horgan and American funny man Rob Delaney were still on track to birth their spawn onto British land in the second episode of accidental conception dramedy Catastrophe (Channel 4).

Improving on last week's audience of 736,000 viewers, last night saw 746,000 souls tune in to see how the unlikely couple's spontaneous cohabitation worked out, resulting in a 4% share.

Earlier in the day, the main soaps took Monday's top spots with a double trip to Coronation Street (ITV) netting first and third place with 8.2 million viewers (7:30pm) and 7.7 million viewers (8:30pm) respectively.

In second place was EastEnders, as the residents geared up towards February's week of live episodes, securing 8 million viewers and a 34% share.

First to air was Emmerdale at 7pm, with the latest slice of rural tranquillity brining in 6.7 million and a 32% share to ITV.

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. 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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