TV ratings: Lewis beats Sherlock in the battle of the detectives

Once more with feeling: ITV1 triumphs over BBC1 in the repeat stakes

At last, an answer to the age-old question – what’s more popular, a repeat of a period inspired detective drama set in modern day, or a repeat of a straight contemporary detective drama? 

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Last night, Inspector Morse spin-off Lewis and Arthur Conan Doyle reboot Sherlock went head to head primetime – and the winner was…the Oxford boys. 

Lewis attracted an average audience of 3.6 million (a 16.9 per cent share) between 8pm and 10pm on ITV1. A further 200,000 watched on ITV1 HD.

Whereas over on BBC1 (and HD), Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and company had to make do with only 3.4 million (a 15.4 per cent share) tuning in to see the first episode of series one again between 8:30pm and 10pm.  

Elsewhere, Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E wasn’t far behind, enjoying 2.7 million viewers (a 12.1 per cent share) between 9pm and 10pm, with a further 300,000 tuning in on Channel 4 HD.

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BBC2’s cricket retrospective, Botham: the Legend of ’81, was watched by 1.3 million viewers (a 6.1 per cent share) between 9pm and 10pm. Channel 5 (and HD) scored 1.1 million (a 4.9 per cent share) with NCIS in the same time slot.