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Jeremy Piven Drama 'Mr Selfridge' on ITV Again Beats BBC's 'Ripper Street'

Jeremy Piven Headshot - P 2012
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The second episodes of the show and reality diving show "Splash!" help the U.K. commercial network bring in strong weekend viewership figures.

LONDON -- U.K. commercial TV network operator ITV posted another set of strong weekend ratings despite slight drops for the second episodes of two new series, the Jeremy Piven drama Mr Selfridge and diving reality show Splash!

The ratings news came as ITV put into effect a rebranding on Monday. It includes new logo designs and sees flagship channel ITV1 become simply ITV.

Mr Selfridge, starring Piven as U.S. retail magnate Harry Selfridge, drew an average of 6.9 million viewers, down from nearly 7.3 million in its debut in the previous week. The second episode peaked with an audience of 7.3 million.

Mr Selfridge, set for its U.S. debut on PBS in late March, had a 25.5 percent share of the TV audience in the 9 p.m. Sunday slot that late last year once again featured hit costume drama Downton Abbey. The share was down from 28.6 percent for the first episode, which had drawn an audience that was only marginally down from what the slot has on average reached over the past three months.

Mr Selfridge once again outperformed BBC Jack the Ripper miniseries Ripper Street, which drew an average of 5.1 million viewers, down from 5.4 million last week.

Meanwhile, ITV's Dancing on Ice, which had launched its eighth season with an average of 8.06 million viewers, averaged 7.4 million on its second weekend, for an audience share of 28.5 percent. The celebrity reality show peaked with an audience of 8.3 million.

On Saturday night, ITV's Splash!, which sees celebrities taking the plunge from the diving tower, again was the best-performing show of the night despite some bad reviews from critics.

The show, starring U.K. Olympic diver Tom Daley, drew an average audience of 5.3 million, giving ITV a share of 23 percent. It peaked with 6.2 million viewers. Its first episode last weekend had attracted 5.6 million viewers on average and a peak of 6.3 million. In the U.S., ABC has picked up the diving format.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai