Thursday, 20 August 2009

Who Do You Think You Are? overnights for the series

Martin Freeman's foray into his family history on Who Do You Think You Are? netted
6.02 million viewers, or a 27.9% share at 9pm-10pm last night, slightly up on last week's episode (Source: Digital Spy).

The overnight viewing figures for the whole series were therefore as follows:

Davina McCall 6.43m (26.6%)
Chris Moyles 5.40m
Kate Humble 4.60m (20%)
David Mitchell 4.06m (17.4%)
Kim Cattrall 5.87m (25.3%)
Martin Freeman 6.02m (27.9%)

These figures are unconsolidated, ie no account taken of those who recorded it to watch it later, on the BBC iPlayer or the repeat transmission, so the figure for each will rise.

So it looks like it came with a flourish, ended on a flourish, and bizarrely collapsed its audience share right in the middle of the run. A real pity, as I personally think Kate Humble's programme was by far the best!

Professional genealogical problem solving and research


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Viewing figures for each episode are bound to reflect how good the preceding one was. Chris Moyle's was so "un-wow" that I didn't even bother to watch Kate Humble. David Mitchell's Scottish ancestors and his own intelligent thoughts about them improved things again, as did Kim Cattrall's look into bigamy.
I still don't know the claim to fame of the last of the series, but felt the point of the story could have been better scripted. Why was it only his great-grandmother's side which indicated a link between blindness and syphilis?

Chris Paton said...

Anonymous - Kate Humble's was quite probably the best edition in the series (seriously!), and the scheduler should be hauled to the gallows for burying it in the middle of the run! I'd definitely get to the BBC iPlayer whilst you can for that!

In my opinion, the Chris Moyles episode was exactly as you described it - "un-wow" - though it was competent as a programme. I just felt we'd heard it all before. It seems every time the show goes to Ireland, it ends up with the same old stereotypical story of Irish nationalism, or sectarianism etc. I once put a proposal into a BBC Bristol series called "Picture This" when I worked there about a half hour film concerning a Lover's Lane in my home town of Carrickfergus. I was funded to go and do research on the story I wanted to tell, and when I handed in my proposal, I was told it was great, but wouldn't it be great if we could make it a commentary on the Troubles? Err - no! I had never seen the Troubles in eleven years of living in the town, so I withdrew the proposal.

There is a useful point to be made though on viewing figures. They don't necessarily reflect a trend in quality, as many factors such as what is on the other side also figure - Martin Freeman was up against a really dull international football match that ended up with less than a million viewers towards the end, for example. The WDYTYA show is automatically helped or handicapped each week by the fact that it is so reliant on celebrity, the very name may put people off watching. I had never actually heard of Kate Humble, sorry to say, so was very pleasantly surprised with the programme, and I was really surprised by the almost justifiable venom of the Kim Cattrall programme - families are real things and it's not all sweetness and light when we start to look at our stories.

On the syphillis point - it was an interesting point raised, but I guarantee everyone is now including that as explanation in their family history reports for the missing gaps!