BBC trounces ITV1 with return of Waking the Dead

LONDON - The return of crime drama 'Waking the Dead' brought 6.8m viewers to BBC One last night, trouncing ITV1's 'The Fixer' by a factor of two to one.

The first episode of a 12-part series landed a 27.3% share of the audience between 9pm-10pm to win the primetime slot, according to unoffical estimates.

ITV1's crime drama 'The Fixer' ended its six-part run with 3.3m viewers and a 13.3% share in the same slot, as the broadcaster's executives decide whether to commission a second series of the programme.

Five netted an impressive audience for the latest instalment in its 'Extraordinary People' documentary strand, with 3.1m viewers and a 12.5% share tuning in at 9pm to watch 'Half Man Half Tree', putting it within touching distance of ITV1's audience share.

As excitement about the release of a new Indiana Jones movie starring Harrison Ford builds ahead of its May launch, Channel 4 cashed in with a documentary partly inspired by the first instalment in the series 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.

'The Quest for the Lost Ark', a documentary that showed academic Tudor Parfitt in his quest to find the fabled lost Ark of the Covenant, netted 2m viewers and an 8.6% share at 9pm, while the Channel 4+1 audience bumped the ratings up to 2.3m viewers and a 9.8% share.

Channel 4's hugely successful teen drama 'Skins' concluded on digital channel E4 last night, with 945,000 viewers, up from 803,000 viewers last week. The concluding episode also captured an impressive 54% of the coveted 16- to 34-year-old audience.

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