Call the Midwife ratings peak at 9 million viewers

Call the MidwifeCall the Midwife was the most watched programme of Sunday evening according to early ratings data as the BBC One drama saw its ratings rise on last week’s impressive debut.

The six-part 1950s based drama has been adapted by Heidi Thomas (Cranford, Upstairs Downstairs) from the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. The drama’s cast includes Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Jessica Raine and Miranda Hart. Call the Midwife made an impressive debut on BBC One last Sunday when it launched with 8 million viewers. It’s second outing last night saw ratings rise to 8.6 million viewers with a peak audience of 9.2 million viewers – fast becoming the BBC‘s Downton Abbey in terms of its impact on ratings.

Clemence Poesy and Eddie RedmayneAt 9pm the BBC’s adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s novel Birdsong premiered on BBC One. The two-part drama has been adapted for television by Abi Morgan who also penned BBC Two‘s news-room drama The Hour. Starring Eddie Redmayne and Clemence Poesy, Birdsong was seen by an average of 6 million viewers.

Over on ITV1 and Dancing on Ice continued its ratings decline though the new series is only three weeks; it’s main show had a respectable 7.1 million viewers between 6.15pm Mark Rhodesand 8.30pm. Critics will be quick to point out though that the entertainment series is the third talent based ITV show to have suffered from ratings decline in the past 12 months and crucially, as with X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, after the show was changed with new judges added. At 9.30pm the results show, in which Mark Rhodes was voted off, had just 5.9 million viewers. Sandwiched between the two instalments was African based drama Wild at Heart which also saw its ratings dip with 6.3 million viewers.

Celebrity Big Brother continued on Channel Five with 1.7 million viewers.