Jed Mercurio - BBC2's "Line Of Duty" Returns To Disappointing Ratings, Loses Out To Comfy And Familiar "Midsummer Murders"

Tags: Lennie James - Martin Compston - Vicky McClure

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When the BBC crime drama Line of Duty debuted two years ago, it was the biggest new drama the channel had had in a while. Not only did last night’s series 2 premiere fail to top that success, it didn’t even come close to matching it, despite critical success. So, what happened between then and now? Let’s talk ratings. The first series of the Jed Mercurio drama about police corruption had an overnight average of 3.2 million for its first run, ending with 3.5 million. Last night’s premiere didn’t even manage 2 million. Bearing in mind that the first episode of each season usually sees a notable spike in ratings, Line of Duty’s viewing numbers might drop even lower as this season progresses. Despite the guest appearance of Keeley Hawes in the first episode, Line of Duty only made it to 1.8 million viewers, according to The Guardian.

Line of Duty Still
The crime drama was a bit too heavy for the Thursday night crowd.

Meanwhile, ITV’s staple Midsummer Murders had a considerably better night. On its 100 episode anniversary, Midsummer registered 5.8 million viewers or 24,6% of those tuning in to the 8pm-10pm slot. The anniversary episode was set partly in Copenhagen, with Danish stars Ann Eleonora Jorgensen from the The Killing and Borgen's Birgitte Hjort Sorensen taking part in the centenary episode crime-solving shenanigans.

Also airing in the coveted 9pm time slot, the BBC1 sitcom Outnumbered was watched by 4.2 million viewers, or 21,6%. The best performer of Thursday night – ratings-wise at least – had to have been an hour-long edition of The One Show, about the floods affecting many parts of the UK. Featuring an interview with communities minister Eric Pickles, it registered 4.9 million viewers, a considerable 21.6%, in the 7pm to 8pm time slot.

Line of Duty Still
Not exactly "light viewing".


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