Daily TV Marketplace - Joey audience halves

Five’s gamble on signing up Friends spin-off Joey hit another low at the weekend as ratings revealed the Matt Le Blanc-fronted sitcom, only in its third week, has lost half its first audience.

Joey’s pulling power appears to be waning as it managed only 2.1 million viewers, a mere 8.5% share of the audience at 8pm on Five on Sunday.

The first episode of Joey, on 13 February, drew an audience of 4.2 million and last week’s instalment was down to 2.8 million viewers.

Sunday night’s prime time winners in the ratings were split evenly between ITV1 and BBC One, as charity-hike drama, The Walk (9pm), pulled in around 5.5 million viewers, over a quarter of the audience.

The two hour, one-off drama followed a group of people, including Crispin Bonham Carter, on a fundraising trek through the Sahara.

BBC One’s efforts were limited to a Bafta tribute to Bruce Forsythe, which clinched a similar 24% share of the audience to ITV1.

In what was a quiet weekend all round for all the terrestrial channels, BBC Two was the hit the hardest.

Its widely trailed programme, The Spectator, at 9pm on Saturday, followed the shenanigans of Boris Johnson at the end of last year but failed to ignite the viewers, attracting just 1 million viewers (4.5%.)

Even Help, the first episode of the new psychiatry comedy from Paul Whitehouse and Chris Langham failed to pull in the viewers.

Just 1.4 million viewers (6.4%) tuned in to watch Whitehouse play all the patients of long-suffering psychiatrist Langham at 9.30pm on Sunday.

The Comic Relief theme started on BBC One last weekend with Comic Relief Does Fame Academy.

At 6.15pm on BBC One, 5.6 million viewers (27.4%) watched as 13 celebrities competed for 12 places at the Fame Academy.

The audience increased for the second instalment at 9pm with 6.5 million viewers tuning in to see who had won.

Channel 4’s ‘100 greatest’ series continued with The 100 Greatest Cartoons at 8pm. The audience arguably had 100 Greatest fatigue, as the programme attracted an audience of just 2.8 million (14.8%).

But ITV1’s For One Night Only – Strictly Classroom followed staff members from Cheltenham Ladies' College as they headed for Paris to learn how to do the cancan in the first episode of this new series.

The Cheltenham Ladies attracted 4.1 million viewers, a 19.3% share of the audience.

By Amanda Lennon

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