British TV ratings: ‘The X Factor’ UK rises, ‘Downton Abbey’ season 6 capitalizes on shock

RobertWe figured that with a much-hyped “shocking moment,” ITV was going to find a little bit of success with “Downton Abbey” Sunday night. That was proven to be true the moment that the ratings officially came in on the night.

The drama, which created a stunning TV moments thanks to Robert (Hugh Bonneville) suffering from what appeared to be a ruptured ulcer, drew just over 7.5 million viewers for the fifth episode of the final season. While the show is charting below the past couple of seasons as a whole, it’s still strong and #2 on the night behind “Strictly Come Dancing.” One thing that really does not get enough credit is the overall audience share here. If any show in America got the same percentage share as this one in America, it’d be drawing bigger numbers than “The Walking Dead,” “Empire,” or on some nights NFL football.

Earlier in the day, “The X Factor” also posted some of its best ratings for a Sunday show this season with 7.4 million watching. Some of this is due to an aggressive marketing campaign, and also the headlines this week around Mason Noise getting booted for the show, only to then return as a member of Nick Grimshaw’s team.

These shows will be interesting to watch the remainder of the season, but we’re prepared already to laugh at anyone saying that “The X Factor” is dying. It’s still extremely successful both in Britain and around the world, and “The Voice” UK will probably be the singing show across the bond to go away before it does.

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