ITV Continues to Dominate U.K. Sunday Ratings With 'Downton Abbey,' 'X Factor'


The audience for the costume drama rose over the previous week despite competition from "Homeland" on Channel 4.

LONDON – ITV continued to dominate the U.K. Sunday night ratings as its flagship network ITV1 once again drew the biggest audiences with Downton Abbey and The X Factor.

The fourth episode of the fourth season of the costume drama peaked with 10.1 million viewers and averaged an audience of 9.4 million. That was about 200,000 viewers above last Sunday's average, which had marked a drop from the week before that.

It was also slightly below the season opener, which had marked the show’s best season debut ever. In the U.S., the show, produced by NBCUniversal's Carnival Films, has been airing on PBS since 2011.

Meanwhile, The X Factor was the most watched show of the night in Britain, peaking with 10.9 million viewers and averaging 9.5 million, up by more than 1 million viewers over the previous week.

"With an average audience of 8.3 million between 7 and 10:30 p.m., ITV was the most watched channel in prime time - more than three million viewers ahead of the next nearest channel," the company said.

Downton Abbey is in a ratings showdown with the third season of Homeland on Britain's Channel 4, which it won handily on Sunday. The second episode of the Homeland season averaged only 1.94 million viewers, the show’s lowest-ever audience on Channel 4.

Twitter: @georgszalai