ITV’s panned daily light entertainment programme the Nightly Show has pulled in lower ratings than the news bulletin it replaced.
The News at Ten was moved to 10.30pm last week to make way for the talkshow which was fronted by actor and comedian David Walliams on week one. Next week it will be presented by stand-up comic John Bishop.
The launch edition attracted some 3m viewers but by Friday this had dropped to 1.2m, less than the average 1.8m viewers who tuned in to the News at Ten in that slot.
Meanwhile, the news has lost viewers in its later slot and attracted 1.6m viewers on Monday, versus a 2m Monday night average.
Bishop said on Friday night’s programme that the first week of The Nightly Show had been “a learning experience” and “there’s bits I’ve enjoyed more than other bits”. But he also said: “Do you want to be made miserable at 10 o’clock or do you want to have a laugh?”
Reaction on Twitter and from critics to The Nightly Show is broadly negative.
On Twitter, News With Jokes said: “Bruce Forsyth spends five nights in intensive care. His agent said ‘it was either that or do a week hosting The Nightly Show.'”
Sue Bagnall said: “Glad to read on here I’m not the only one who thinks #thenightlyshow #nightlyshow is utter crap. Bring back news at 10 !!!!!”
And Kieran said: “ITV moved the news for this? Is this it?”
TV critic Michael Hogan of the Telegraph wrote: “James Corden and his fellow US talkshow hosts can sleep easy in their squishy Hollywood beds tonight because The Nightly Show, a British attempt to emulate what they do, fell as flat as a Shrove Tuesday pancake”
ITV political editor Robert Peston said last week: “The simple point is that if it goes incredibly well, then that’s great for the news because it will bring us a bigger audience at 10.30pm. And if it doesn’t, then the truth is we’ll revert back to 10 o’clock.”
An ITV spokesperson said: “We are just five shows into a 40-episode run with The Nightly Show and it’s therefore still very early days as we try something new that extends the primetime entertainment feel of ITV beyond 10pm.”