'Britain's Got Talent' Ratings Drop for First Live Show of Season


The Simon Cowell talent show on ITV averaged 9.6 million viewers with its first semifinal show, the highest U.K. ratings for the night but 700,000 below last year's equivalent episode.

The first live episode of the eighth season of Simon Cowell talent show Britain's Got Talent on ITV drew fewer viewers on Monday than the equivalent episode in 2013.

The semifinal episode averaged 9.6 million viewers, drawing the biggest U.K. TV audience of the night. But the figure meant a drop of about 700,000 viewers from the first live show last year. ‪

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The Monday episode peaked with an audience of 11.5 million. The BGT results show later in the night averaged 8.1 million viewers for ITV, and an episode of soap opera Coronation Street in between the two BGT shows drew an average audience of 9 million, its best performance since February.

Overall, that meant that ITV outperformed the BBC and had the three highest-rated shows of the night.

On Sunday night, BGT unveiled this season's semifinalists in an episode that drew 8.4 million people on average. The final episode of BGT is set to air on June 7.

ITV last year secured Cowell's BGT and The X Factor for three more seasons. The BGT judges are Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.

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