Channel 4 execs were closely watching the viewers watching the viewers watching TV on Friday night as Gogglebox returned for a third series in a new primetime slot.
They’ll have liked what they saw. Not only did the show pull in its biggest audience to date in its new 9pm end-of-the-week berth, it also outgunned both ITV and BBC2, losing out only to Alan Davies’s big-hitting whodunit Jonathan Creek on BBC1.
Gogglebox was watched by an average of 2.7 million – an audience share of 12.8% – compared with 1.5m (7.0%) for Bed and Breakfast comedy Edge of Heaven on ITV and a similar number, 1.5m (7.1%), for First World War drama 37 Days on BBC2.
Jonathan Creek on BBC1, meanwhile, surged home in front with 5.6m and 26.2% of the 9-10pm audience.
The results show an encouraging trend for Gogglebox which recorded its previous best audience of 2.3m (12.1%) for the concluding episode of its second run in its original Thursday 10pm slot.
The series films members of the public as they react to TV programmes in the comfort of their living rooms, and has garnered a cult following, thanks to a diverse range of real-life characters from across the spectrum of British TV viewers.
Favourites include gin-swilling ‘posh couple’ Steph and Dom, gay best friends Stephen and Chris, raucous duo Sandy and Sandra and bantering older couple June and Leon.