Merlin's return tops 6 million viewers for BBC One

MerlinMerlin‘s return to BBC One for a fourth season was watched by more than 6 million viewers consolidated figures reveal.

The fourth season of BBC One’s fantasy drama, starring Colin Morgan and Bradley James, launched on Saturday 1st October. The first part, of a two-part story, immediately followed the sixth season finale of Doctor Who – The Wedding of River Song. It’s the first time the two Saturday dramas have aired on the same evening as Doctor Who traditionally airs in the Summer.

Overnight figures for The Darkest Hour, Part One, placed viewer ratings at 5.2 million viewers. However, final figures for the episode place the ratings significantly higher at 6.4 million viewers. That’s a rise of around 1.2 million viewers on the overnight figures, so why is the consolidated figure higher? Well final figures are more accurate because they are based on when a programme starts, rather than the scheduled time, and also account for those who record a programme and watching it within seven days.

Doctor Who notably has much higher final figures for ratings than overnights especially for its recent sixth season.