'Downton Abbey' U.K. Ratings Drop for Second Episode of New Season

LONDON - Downton Abbey on ITV1 averaged 8.4 million British viewers Sunday night for a 31.8 percent share of people watching TV at 9pm, down from the previous week and the year-ago period, according to latest U.K. ratings data.

The data includes about 280,000 people who watched the show with a delay of one hour on catch-up network ITV1+1.

The average viewership was down from an average audience of 8.6 million for the costume drama's third season debut a week earlier, or 9 million when including ITV1+1. The second episode was also about 1 million viewers below the equivalent episode in 2011.

The Sunday peak audience for Downton Abbey, which overnight failed to pick up more than one Emmy award for Maggie Smith despite a range of nominations, hit 9.3 million.

The show's lead-in once again was Simon Cowell's X Factor's, whose final boot camp episode made it the most watched show of the day in Britain with 9.4 million average viewers including ITV1+1. The music competition peaked with 10.8 million viewers. But the show's ratings were once again down from the year-ago season.

Meanwhile, BBC1 Sunday night aired the first part of eight-part documentary History of the World opposite Downton Abbey, drawing only an average of 3.3 million viewers.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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