From MediaGuardian today:-
ITV1's Thursday night comedy zone fell off a ratings cliff with Liza Tarbuck comedy drama Bonkers and Johnny Vegas sitcom Benidorm losing a combined 3 million viewers.
Bonkers was comprehensively beaten by the return of Tamzin Outhwaite drama Hotel Babylon to BBC1, which had 5.4m viewers, a quarter of the audience.
Bonkers, which also stars Mark Addy and Lynda Bellingham, averaged 2.8m viewers last night, just one in eight of the audience, according to unofficial overnight figures.
The third part of six scheduled episodes, it was down from 4.2m last week and 4.9m for its opening episode two weeks ago.
Holiday sitcom Benidorm has also suffered, despite a cast that includes Vegas and the League of Gentlemen's Steve Pemberton. Benidorm averaged 3.6m viewers last night - an 18% share of the audience - down from 4.5m viewers last night and 5.3m two weeks ago.
It comes a day after another new ITV1 sitcom, The Abbey, could only manage 2.1m viewers at 10pm on Wednesday night. Morwenna Banks' comedy pilot, starring Russell Brand, Omid Djalilik, Marti Pellow and Reece Shearsmith, coincidentally also from the League of Gentlemen, slipped to just 1.8m for its second 15 minutes.
I don't think I would have watched the second half if it hadn't been for Reece being in it ...
Viewing figures for 'Benidorm' (& Bonkers) have also fallen off (although this is usually the case for many series...)
I think Steve and Reece are deserving of far better than these ITV projects ( they both SHONE IN THEIR ROLES & I think 'Benidorm' does have a few good moments...) Although their talent means they can enliven and improve even poorly written material, they DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER than the scripts they were given to work with in both these ITV projects. Its a case of sitcoms relying on the actors rather than the scripts...
When are ITV just going to face up to the fact that they can't do comedy (apart from 'Rising Damp') and especially comedy for BBC2/Channel 4 audiences...