There was good news and bad news for ITV last night.

Both the good and the bad came to pass for ITV’s Red or Black? – Ant and Dec’s latest series – proved to be a total flop and an unexpected hit across the ITV schedules last night.

The hour long main show performed abysmally in the ratings dropping below 4 million to 3.9, which if the trend continues will result in the game show shedding half its audience since its first outing on Saturday. The first episode had over six million viewers, however since then night after night ratings have dropped off.

The surprise of the night was long running consumer programme Watchdog – fronted by Anne Robinson – proving it wasn’t the weakest link by pulling in over a million more viewers to BBC One as an audience of 5.2 tuned in leaving ITV’s big budget extravaganza lagging.

Later in the evening however the live finale to Thursday’s edition of Red or Black? provided a ratings boost to ITV with the game show winning its slot, beating BBC One’s Torchwood and Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother.

The ITV show had 4.1 million viewers at 9.30pm, the same as the Wednesday night outing at the same time. The final 15 minutes of the edition last night however saw 100,000 people switch off well before the end of the show, still it performed overall well enough to see off all rivals.

Despite its falling ratings Simon Cowell, who helped devise the format, believes ITV will offer Ant and Dec a second series of Red or Black?. ITV have stated no decision has yet been taken about the shows future.

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