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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 18:10 GMT
Ratings mysteries solved
EastEnders is BBC One's top rated programme
EastEnders is BBC One's top rated programme
TV broadcasters are finally able to see if their New Year has started with a bang after the latest audience figures were released.

The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb) had to delay the publication of their research for two weeks after a radical overhaul in the way the figures were complied.

Under normal circumstances, the information would be at broadcasters' fingertips one day after transmission.

It is the first change in a decade to the way the Barb figures are compiled.

Pop Idol has been a big hit for ITV1
Pop Idol has been a big hit for ITV1
It had been feared that audience figures would drop as a result of the change but major programmes including BBC One's EastEnders and Coronation Street on ITV1 have not seen much of a change.

EastEnders is still ahead of its rivals, pulling in average audiences of 13.2 million in the second week of 2002, compared with the Street's 12.2 million.

ITV1 continues its dominance of Saturday nights with hit show Pop Idol pulling in eight million, double the audience of BBC One's Friends Like These.

But quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is continuing to lose viewers, with ratings for the 12 January edition falling below seven million, one million behind hospital drama Casualty.

Ruby Wax is competing against Trisha and This Morning
Ruby Wax is competing against Trisha and This Morning
Johnny Vaughan's new chat show on BBC One - it debuts on BBC Choice earlier each evening - had a solid opening of more than two million, but that dropped by 500,000 by the third show.

ITV1 bosses feared SM:tv Live would lose its Saturday morning audience after theloss of Ant and Dec.

New hosts James Redmond, Brian Dowling and Tess Daly joined Cat Deeley on the show, but figures for their second week on the programme show it is still well ahead of BBC One's The Saturday Show.

SM:tv Live now has an audience of 1.5 million, compared to the 800,000 watching Dani Behr and Joe Mace.

Ruby Wax's new morning chat show has failed to dent the audience of ITV1's morning programmes.

Her BBC One show started on Monday 7 January with 800,000 compared to more than a million watching Trisha and This Morning.

However Wax's audience fell to 600,000 by Thursday before recovering at the end of last week back to its original figure.

Richard and Judy's show on Channel 4 continues to struggle in the ratings.

Sex and the City is into its third series
Sex and the City is into its third series
An audience of around 1.7 million watch the former This Morning hosts' show, putting it behind Neighbours, Crossroads and The Weakest Link.

Channel 4 had already found out that their most expensive drama ever, Shackleton, had been a hit.

The Kenneth Branagh two-parter about the life of the famous explorer, became the broadcaster's most watched drama for more than 12 months, with figures of more than three million.

But Channel 4 will also be pleased by the audience for raunchy comedy Sex and the City.

The third series of the New York show about four women pulled in more than three million at its peak.

Barb are promising the new figures are more accurate than the previous method of calculating audience size.

The sample size has been increased from 4,300 households to 5,100 in an effort to make the data more demographically and geographically representative.

See also:

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