Harrowing drama The Missing leads a strong night for BBC One

29 Oct 2014  |  Niall Johnson 
Harrowing drama The Missing leads a strong night for BBC One

Tuesday evening saw James Nesbitt's anguished face return to TV screens with the début of BBC One's challenging new drama The Missing (9pm), cementing a solid evening for the broadcaster.

Set across two different timelines - one involving a tragic family holiday in France, the second set eight years later as Nesbitt's character dealt with the fallout from his son's disappearance - the unforgiving tale didn't shy away from the horrific realities of the situation.

An impressive début audience of 5.8 million viewers (a 27% share) tuned in to see an impressive turn from Nesbitt in the first of eight episodes, as the broken father attempted to find new leads.

Things were a bit brighter over on BBC Two with whisper-voiced optimist professor Brian Cox once again arched his gaze towards the heavens, took a swig from his hip flask (presumably) and gave us another sixty minutes of lyrical pondering.

The fifth and penultimate episode of Human Universe (9pm) found the gently toned academic looking at humanity's changing perspective of our place in the universe.

Opening up with 2.3 million viewers four weeks ago, last night's slice of large-scale issues brought in 1.6 million viewers and an 8% share.

At the same time, Channel 4 offered up another hour of suspicious 'observational' hokum as apparently moneyed people lorded it up for the cameras while attempting to hire some 'help'. The painful vignettes from Toff Manors across the country secured 1.1 million for Channel 4 and a 5% share.

9pm saw Channel 5 bring the season 14 finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, with the last few episodes receiving the melodramatic subtitle The Last Day of Jim Brass to make a big deal out of a supporting character leaving.

A little over 1 million viewers tuned in to see Jim finally leave, even if it was in a rather unceremonious fashion, netting a 5% share and Channel 5's biggest hit of the day.

Meanwhile, on BBC Three, cautionary youth show Snow, Sex and Suspicious Parents (9pm) kicked off for a second series of stage school reaction shots of aghast parents.

Viewers all know the drill by now, which makes you wonder - at this stage what show do the gormless youngsters think they've actually signed up for? 375,000 viewers tuned in for the by-the-numbers lesson learning, resulting in a 2% share.

An hour earlier Holby City (8pm) helped BBC One stay on top as 4.6 million viewers (more than Casualty's 4 million on Saturday) tuned in for the latest tears and blood soaked stories, netting a 21% share.

BBC Two brought viewers a whole new series of Autumnwatch 2014 as Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and that other bloke with the once-graceful locks were plopped in a field somewhere, armed with night vision goggles. 2.7 million viewers watched as the barn owls, starlings and even otters made an appearance, netting 12% share.

Meanwhile, commercial broadcaster ITV wasn't even trying. A two hour repeat of Midsomer Murders (8pm) took up the channel's evening schedule and didn't even feature a murder stupid enough to make it interesting. 2 million people and a 9% share showed up for the latest mystery.

It was ITV's solo soap of the day that secured the broadcaster's top show of the day, with Emmerdale (7pm) nabbing Tuesday's second place.

Yesterday, the rural drama about a nice little village, in which everyone has murdered someone else, took in 5.8 million viewers and a 29% share.

Talking about a community of functioning murderers, BBC One soap EastEnders took the day's top spot at 7:30pm. 6.6 million viewers kicked off a very strong evening for BBC One, with scenes of Dot nearly running in to her 'dead' son grabbing a 32% 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. 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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