'Broadchurch' Season 3 Debut Draws 7.5M on ITV; 'Nightly Show' Kicks Off With 2.9M Viewers

BBC America

Britain's answer to U.S. late-night shows draws some negative reviews from viewers and critics.

U.K. TV giant ITV's flagship network on Monday night drew 7.5 million viewers with the 9 p.m. season three debut of hit series Broadchurch and averaged an audience of 2.9 million for the first edition of 10 p.m. experiment The Nightly Show, Britain's answer to U.S. late-night shows.

Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, became a U.K. ratings hit in its first season. The overnight audience figures for the start of season three compared with 7.6 million viewers for the season two launch episode. The second season then hit ratings lows.

The drama's 34 percent share of viewing at the time came in higher than the season two premiere, setting a high for the show and bringing in ITV's biggest drama audience since Downton Abbey in 2015. 

Overall, Broadchurch won the 9 p.m. time slot convincingly and helped ITV beat BBC flagship network BBC One in terms of all-day share for the first time this year. 

The Nightly Show is a 30-minute daily show with an eight-week run, featuring a different big-name host each week. Comedian and Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams is hosting the show this week, with Gordon Ramsay among the other planned hosts.

The first episode started out with an audience of 3.8 million, helped by the Broadchurch lead-in, but finished with only 2.2 million viewers. That meant an average audience of 2.9 million. Observers pointed out that this was well above news show ITV News at Ten, which the show is replacing.

But the show and Walliams drew viewer criticism on Twitter. "How can you go from the excellence of #Broadchurch to the showing the absolutely dire #NightlyShow?" tweeted one. Another said: "I watched my first and last #thenightlyshow last night. Awful TV."

TV reviewers also felt the show had little to offer. The Telegraph called it "flat," while The Times said "David Walliams’s jokes fell flat in the comedy talk show’s debut."

Some said they liked the new show, though. "I personally loved #TheNightlyShow!" tweeted one viewer. "Something refreshing!"