When the BBC launched its new music show Sounds Like Friday Night, there were high hopes for the first regular primetime music programme since Top Of The Pops finished in 2006. But the danger was that a single dodgy overnight rating would bring out the doom-mongers.
So far SLFN, produced by Fulwell 73, has had a patchy ratings performance but things are looking up. With the show bedding in with a carnival-style performance from co-host Demi Lovato and appearances from Stefflon Don, Stereophonics and Plan B, the third episode achieved an overnight audience of 2.32 million – its biggest to date.
The BBC has also revealed the consolidated audience (playback of recordings within seven days) for the first two shows. The first episode, featuring Charlie Puth and Jessie Ware, increased its overnight rating of 2.2m to 2.3m once the timeshifted audience was taken into account.
The second episode, which featured Liam Payne - but not Liam Gallagher after he pulled out - slumped to 1.6m on the overnight and did not gain any significant audience in the consolidated ratings.
With a week off for Children In Need, which doesn’t help the show’s momentum, the BBC will now be waiting to see how the third episode performs with consolidated ratings.
The key to SLFN's success may ultimately depend more on its iPlayer numbers, which will become available after 30 days.
Ahead of the launch, BBC Music boss Bob Shennan told Music Week that the show needs to generate viral moments but that TV ratings still matter - and the music industry will surely agree with that. The hopes of the BBC and the biz now rest on The Killers, Anne-Marie and Craig David, who co-hosts when the show returns on November 24.