The Hour{jcomments on}BBC Two’s new drama series The Hour launched with nearly 3 million viewers last night according to overnight figures.

The new drama – compared to the critically acclaimed Man Men – is set in a 1950s news room and stars Dominic West, Ben Winshaw, Anna Chancellor and Romola Garai. It got off to a very strong start with a combined audience of 2.9 million viewers – 2.6 million on BBC Two itself and a further 160,000 on the BBC HD Channel. The drama beat ITV1’s offering at 9pm of Homes from Hell which had 2.8, Channel Four’s Undercover Boss with 1.7 million and CSI on Channel Five which had 1 million viewers. Only BBC One had more viewers at 9pm for Richard Hammond’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth which had 4.9 million viewers.

Earlier in the day the appearances of Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks before the select committee was of considerable interest to some viewers. BBC Two cleared its daytime schedule to show their appearances – coverage was also shown on the BBC News Channel and Radio 5 Live. According to ratings data the BBC Two footage attracted an average of 880,000 viewers peaking at 1.2 million viewers. The BBC News Channel coverage saw ratings surge to 620,000 viewers while its believed up to 3 million viewers may have watched events online.

 

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