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5.5m tune in for Silent Witness' grim Scottish retreat

17 Jan 2014  |  Niall Johnson 
5.5m tune in for Silent Witness' grim Scottish retreat

Thursday night took the Silent Witness (BBC One, 9pm) team out on a bit of a jolly, all the way up to sunny and welcoming rural Scotland - which featured perfectly desolate landscapes, just to add a little sprinkle of extra bleakness to the long-running show.

The fifth episode of the 17th series kicked off with yet another ill-fated woman found murdered (this time in the woods, to keep things fresh), which has become such a standard occurrence it's a genuine shock there are any females left in the fictional universe of bleak crime dramas.

The first part of the new case saw doctors Nikki and Jack follow the usual forensic-detectives-out-of-water storyline, rubbing some local cops up the wrong way, while also grabbing the chance to meet Ruth from EastEnders.

5.5 million viewers watched as Dr Nikki and her jazzy - and totally work appropriate - new hairstyle once again managed to get emotionally caught up in the latest bout of brutal lady-slaying. The grey tones and super serious brooding captured the biggest 9pm audience and walked away with a 23 % share.

At the same time on BBC Two, comedian Stephen Mangan finished up his quest to replace Sir David Attenborough as the BBC's chief narrator in the third and last episode of Wild Brazil (9pm). The 753rd wildlife show from the BBC this year alone took viewers on a nature walk through the perilous South American country.

For the first two nights, 2 million viewers joined the journey and last night was no exception as the final tale of survival secured an 8% share.

Speaking of observational drama in foreign climes, ITV offered up the third episode of Benidorm's latest series at 9pm. 4.6 million viewers went along for an hour of easy laughs and sunny locales but it couldn't quite muster enough interest to overthrow Silent Witness on the other side.

Elsewhere in the 9pm slot, the contestants of Celebrity Big Brother (Channel 5) continued to shout and make each other cry for the nation's entertainment. An audience of a little over 2 million viewers watched as an argument between Jim Davidson and Linda Nolan got particularly nasty and personal, securing an 8% share for the channel.

Over on Channel 4, The Undateables (9pm) continued on their quest to find love while the broadcaster patted itself on the back for 'pushing boundaries' or something. The latest group of love-starved hopefuls brought in the channel's biggest audience of the day with 1.5 million viewers and a 6% share.

A little earlier on, another new nature doc launched on BBC One, with Hidden Kingdoms (8pm) pulling in 3.4 million viewers and a 15% share. This wasn't enough to fend off ITV's double whammy of Emmerdale (8pm) and Birds of a Feather (8:30pm), which netted 6.8 million and 5.9 million viewers, respectively.

Despite ITV's great draw, the fourth and final episode of The Great Sport Relief Bake Off (8pm) still managed to hang on to the sturdy audience it secured all week. The usual mix of a former prime time funny man (Alistair McGowan), a long standing jobbing comedian (Doon Mackichan, who has been in everything), a BBC salary slave (Blue Peter's Helen Skelton) and a random Saturday (Rochelle Humes) battled furiously in the white tent of calm for the coveted title of Star Baker.

A consistent 4.3 million viewers watched as the final bit of baking action unfolded, securing BBC Two's biggest hit of the day.

Even earlier, the first episode of Emmerdale (ITV) at 7pm was watched by 6.7 million viewers but it was BBC One's Walford drama that proved to be Thursday's biggest player. 7.6 million viewers tuned in to see Masood go off the rails completely while a drunken Bianca once again showcased her finely-honed skill of being drunk and gobby, all at the same time.

Scenes of Masood, fresh from a broken heart, gambling and boozing through his evening secured a 35% share for BBC One.

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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