The American-inspired breakfast show fronted by amongst others big money BBC signing Susanna Reid and Sky’s Charlotte Hawkins has lost more than 25% of its viewers in seven episodes since it began on Monday 28 May. The breakfast format started with 800,000 viewers (inc HD) and yesterday received only 600,000 viewers, the show’s second worst performance so far – beaten only by a miserable (but expected) slump to 300,000 viewers on Bank Holiday Monday.
In its first seven days on the air, ITV’s previous breakfast format, Daybreak, lost almost exactly the same proportion of viewers. The GMTV-replacement, launched to great fanfare after the commercial broadcaster poached BBC’s One Show hosts Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles in September 2010, fell from 1m viewers on launch to just 759,500 the following Tuesday.
Daybreak presenters Chiles and Bleakley made their final appearances on the show in December 2011 after the show dipped to lows of below 600,000 viewers in the previous month.
Although viewing figures recovered under the stewardship of Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones in 2012 and 2013, ITV continued to struggle to compete with the ever-popular BBC Breakfast with Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull at the helm, pulling in 1.5m viewers on a regular basis.
Ratings battles have raged on television in the mornings ever since the BBC launched Breakfast Time in January 1983, just two weeks before TV-am was launched as the first national operator of a commercial Breakfast TV station.
With the BBC holding their position in the latest skirmishes over the cornflake bowls, and Good Morning Britain now almost a million viewers behind Breakfast, it looks like the latest ITV gamble on big hitting breakfast talent may not have paid off… again.