Titanic sinks competition on launch

Julian Fellowes’s mini-series set sail with 7 million viewers on board to win 9pm Sunday slot

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ITV1’s new period drama, Titanic, penned by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, marked its maiden voyage with an audience of almost 7 million.

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The first episode of the four-part mini-series was watched by 6.89 million people, a 26.6 per cent share for its 9pm slot on Sunday night.

BBC1’s own period offering, Upstairs Downstairs, came to the end of its six-part run with just 4.45 million (17.2 per cent) tuning in, while political thriller Homeland continued to do well for Channel 4, drawing 2.05 million (7.9 per cent).

Over on BBC2, documentary In Orbit: How Satellites Rule Our World garnered 1.47 million (5.7 per cent), while Channel 5’s screening of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was watched by 1.03 million (4.8 per cent).

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Despite its initial success, Titanic has received mixed reviews from critics – whether it can maintain its current course in the weeks ahead remains to be seen.