UPSTAIRS DOWNTON ABBEY
Upstairs Downstairs, BBC1, 9pm, Boxing Day BBC1's three-part return to the period drama classic, beaten to the punch by ITV1 rival Downton Abbey, began with 7.541 million viewers, a 28.4% share of the audience, between 9pm and 10pm on Boxing Day.
Stripped over three successive nights, Upstairs Downstairs slipped to 6.665 million (24.6%) on Monday 27 December before bouncing back a little to 6.882 million, a 26.5% share, on Tuesday 28 December.
It won its slot each night, beating ITV1's sitcom Benidorm on Boxing Day, which averaged 5.556 million with another 461,000 on ITV HD, a total share of 21.3%.
Monday night's episode beat ITV1's Agatha Christie's Marple, which averaged 3.976 million with another 242,000 on ITV HD, a 16% share.
Tuesday's concluding instalment of the BBC1 period drama beat ITV1's Will Smith terrestrial movie premiere I Am Legend, which had 4.276 million viewers between 9pm and 10.50pm, and another 379,000 on ITV HD, a share of 19.1%.
But it failed to match the ratings impact of Downton Abbey, which finished with 10.7 million viewers and was ITV1's most successful drama for almost seven years. It remains to be seen whether Upstairs Downstairs starring Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard and Dame Eileen Atkins will be commissioned for a full series.
TOP GEAR, TOP RATINGS
Top Gear, BBC2, 8pm, Boxing Day The festive edition of the motoring show, in which Clarkson, Hammond and May followed the path of the three wise men, averaged 5.863 million viewers, a 21.5% share, with another 546,000 on BBC HD.
It gave BBC2 a rare ratings victory over ITV1. Its movie premiere, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, had a total audience including ITV1 HD of 4.2 million, a 17.5% share, between 6.20pm and 8.30pm.
It also beat ITV1's Harry Hill's Best of Christmas TV Burp, which had 3 million viewers, a 10.8% share, between 8.30pm and 9pm.
The Top Gear special was followed by BBC2's Live Aid drama When Harvey Met Bob. But three-quarters of the Top Gear audience melted away, the drama averaging 1.137 million viewers, a 4.7% share, with another 43,000 on BBC HD between 9.15pm and 10.45pm.
ALL CHANNEL 4 WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS ... THE NEW YEAR
Porridge, Channel 4, 7.10pm, Bank Holiday Monday In a subdued festive period for Channel 4's peaktime schedules, this repeat of the 31-year-old big-screen Porridge spin-off still managed 1.213 million viewers, a 4.4% share, with another 131,000 viewers on Channel 4+1.
Channel 4's primetime Boxing Day offering was dominated by a rapid repeat of 100 Greatest Toys with Jonathan Ross, which averaged 948,000, a 3.7% share, between 6.55pm and 10pm.
THE DUKE'S STILL GOT IT
Rooster Cogburn, Channel 5, 5.05pm, Bank Holiday Monday The Porridge movie was old, but Rooster Cogburn, made in 1975, was even older. Nevertheless, the John Wayne western earned its spurs as Channel 5's most watched programme of Bank Holiday Monday, with an average of 1.057 million viewers, a 4.7% share between 5.05pm and 7.05pm.
But it was no match for Channel 4's Celebrity Come Dine With Me, which averaged 2.352 million viewers, an 11% share, between 5pm and 6pm with another 348,000 viewers on Channel 4+1.
Channel 5 raided the archives for a host of classic festive offerings, including a 1974 Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em Christmas special, which was its most popular programme on Boxing Day with 1.480 million, a 5.5% share at 7.55pm on Boxing Day.
The Michael Crawford sitcom followed a repeat of the 1985 edition of Top of the Pops, which was watched by 1.071 million viewers (4.6%) at 6.40pm on Boxing Day and another 631,000 (4.7%) when it was repeated again at 12.40pm the following day. It just goes to show viewers can't get enough Shakin' Stevens.
NOT JUST WILLIAM
Just William, BBC1, 12.30pm, Bank Holiday Tuesday The new adaptation of the children's classic starring Outnumbered's Daniel Roche began with 1.819 million viewers, a 15.5% share between 12.30pm and 1pm.
FAREWELL FAYE AND CONNIE
Holby City, BBC1, 8pm, Bank Holiday Tuesday Patsy Kensit, who played Faye, and Amanda Mealing, as Connie, bowed out of the long-running hospital drama with 6.882 million viewers, a 26.5% share of the audience.
It easily had the better of ITV1's hidden camera retrospective Smile: That Was Candid Camera, which averaged 2.862 million viewers, an 11.2% share, between 8pm and 9pm, with another 165,000 on ITV1 HD.
STILL LIFE IN GOOD LIFE
The Good Life, BBC2, Bank Holiday Tuesday And finally, back to the 1970s again, where a 1977 Christmas special, part of a themed night of programmes around The Good Life, was BBC2's most-watched programme of the night with 2.701 million viewers, a 10.5% share.
It was bookended by a pair of documentaries a repeat of Funny Turns: Penelope Keith, and All About the Good Life, which had 2.368 million (9.4%) and 2.142 million (8.2%) respectively.
All ratings are Barb overnight figures, including live and same day timeshifted (recorded) viewing, but excluding on demand, +1 or other unless otherwise stated. Figures for BBC1, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 generally include ratings for their HD simulcast services, unless otherwise stated
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