9 million watch Downton Abbey return

Downton AbbeyThe return of Downton Abbey to ITV1 was watched by 9 million viewers beating Spy drama Spooks on BBC One.

It will hardly come as any surprise that Downton Abbey beat spy drama Spooks last night as the two went head-to-head at 9pm. Downton Abbey was back for its second series while Spooks returned for its 10th and final season. There have already been criticisms of the BBC’s decision to move it out of the Monday night slot to a Sunday evening slot therefore meaning it clashed with Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey returned at 9pm for a 90 minute special – with all the cast returning and new additions to the series such as Amy Nuttall and Maria Doyle-Kennedy. The episode was seen by 9 million viewers according to overnight figures. ITV will be delighted with the success of last nights episode which followed The X Factor and, once again, it would seem the majority of the audience stayed with ITV for the drama series.

Spooks meanwhile was seen by 4.6 million viewers at 9pm but its clash with Downton may have meant some viewers opted to record it to watch later or will catch up with the opening episode on the BBC iPlayer. The final figures for Sunday’s ratings will be released in ten days time and it’ll be interesting to note how far the ratings for Spooks rise.

You can read a review of last night’s Downton Abbey here >>