Over a million bid farewell to Desperate Housewives on E4

C4's digital cousin enjoys a huge audience for the US drama's eagerly anticipated finale


1.2m people (6.8% share), tuned in to the final ever episode of Desperate Housewives last night on E4 to witness (look away now if you’ve got it on the PVR to watch tonight) the death of Mike Delfino and take one last wander down Wisteria Lane.


The show’s hardly been desperate for new viewers of late though, its audience having more than doubled between April (when around 0.5m looked in per episode) and May (when audiences had swollen to well over a million).

(Which is rather odd, isn’t it? I mean, it makes you wonder why so many people elected to watch the conclusion of a programme they haven’t been following from the start. Still, horses for courses …)

In fact, more people tuned in to see the long-running US drama’s finale than almost anything else on TV last night between 10-11pm.

Channel 4’s last-ditch bit of rock ‘n’ royal Jubilee programming, The Royal History of Pop, struck something of a bum note, only tempting 700,000 viewers (4%) to tune in and hear more of Brian May’s well-worn anecdotes about playing guitar on the roof of Buckingham Palace.

ITV1 meanwhile, presumably exhausted after a day of live Euro 2012 punditry from the pavement cafes of Poland, screened Hollywood blockbuster The Incredible Hulk, turning 1m viewers (8%) green with excitement.

Channel 5 tried the same movie trick with The Pursuit of Happyness, which alas only brought a mere smidgin of joy to the nation, attracting a scant 0.7m (5%) viewers.

In fact Desperate Housewives’ finale was only surpassed in the overnights by the BBC News (5.5m/26%) and Louis Theroux’s penetrating return to the American porn industry after 15 years away, Twilight of the Porn Stars, which was seen, however furtively, by1.7m people (9% share) over on BBC2.


In light of such success, it almost makes you wonder whether the show’s bosses might decide to revive Desperate Housewives and let Mike shuffle back on his mortal coil with a Dallas-style “it was all a dream” shocker at some point in the not too distant future…