The Syndicate launches with 5 million viewers

BBC OneBBC One’s new drama The Syndicate, about shop workers who win the lottery, got off to a decent start last night with over 5 million viewers.

The Syndicate stars Timothy Spall and Joanna Page and tells the story of winning the lottery changes the lives of several supermarket workers – and not necessarily for the better. The drama, written by Kay Mellor, launched at 9pm last night with 5.2 million viewers. It comfortably won the 9pm hour beating FA Cup coverage on ITV1 which had 3.2 million viewers between 7.30pm and 10.10pm. It also beat Channel Four’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings which had 3.3 million viewers but an additional 800,000 watched an hour later via the time-shift channel.

Elsewhere last night critically acclaimed drama Mad Men made its first outing on its new home of Sky Atlantic. The first four seasons of the drama, which stars Jon Hamm, aired on BBC Four but Sky Atlantic won Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrevthe rights to the fifth season. The new season kicked off with the two-parter opener A Little Kiss. The first part drew just under 100,000 viewers while the second part sunk to just under 50,000 viewers.

The Vampire Diaries continued its third season on ITV2 with Dangerous Liaisons seen by 370,000 viewers at 9pm an additional 143,000 an hour later via the time-shift channel. Last night’s episode saw Elena (Nina Dobrev) from an uneasy alliance with original witch Esther (Alice Evans) to kill Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and the other original vampires.