18/09/2013 — Edit: the ratings for Episode 4.01 have been revised, the ratings for the second episode are not yet available.
Yes, dear readers, I was as flummoxed by this as you probably are. The returning series premiere of Whitechapel last week reached only (revised numbers as of 18/09/2013): 5.55 million people (4.10m overnight), which is an all-time low for the popular ITV show.
Why? A plunge like this can only have few reasons:
- Interest dramatically and suddenly waned — but why would it? People are crazy about this show, anticipation has been running high as always.
- Viewers were put off by the new turn this series has taken and tuned out early. Although that, too, seems unlikely, since ventures into the macabre, sinister, and more than slightly demonic have always been Whitechapel‘s main attraction and selling point.
- ITV screwed up and didn’t promote this series properly.
According to a friend of a friend, the latter is the most likely, she said it wasn’t promoted in television trailers at all. I am following the ITV twitter, and I didn’t really hear a peep out of them about the new series except for their RT of Rupert Penry-Jones, one of the lead actors(!) tweeting about the trailer. After that, they only tweeted a couple of times on the day of the first episode, September 4. If that’s an indication of how they’ve advertised the whole series via other media channels as well, then, well.
Due to the format, which presents us with three distinct cases à two episodes, ITV has also taken to selling the second episode, which reveals the solution of last week’s case, via ITV iplayer. Rupert Penry-Jones asked during the weekend why people were talking about having seen the second episode.
I’m not sure what to think of that, either. Of course, the preferred outcome is that people get talking about it — as they already have, apparently — and then entice people to keep watching this week.
well we will see after the ratings of the second episode whether it was bad promotion or not…
but i can’t leave without mentioning illegal downloads. the more success a tv show has the easier it is to download it. hope you will have the numbers for e2 as well.
I’m not seeing any numbers yet, but they probably have more to calculate what with the rental episode.
I get where you’re coming from about the downloads, but ratings have continued to climb in past series despite the growing popularity of the show. I’m not sure even increasing downloads from within the UK would cause viewing figures to plummet by half, not if people can easily watch it on ITV player.
it was just a boring and predictable first part. that’s I switched off. no character development.