Multichannel TV ratings - March 16: Giant leap for Gavin and Stacey

The second series of BBC3 comedy Gavin and Stacey launched with an impressive 1.7 million viewers. By Leigh Holmwood

The second series of the BBC3 comedy Gavin and Stacey launched with an impressive 1.7 million viewers last night, Sunday March 16.

Gavin and Stacy's second series, which began with the newlywed couple returning from their honeymoon, attracted an average multichannel audience share of 7.3% between 9pm and 9.30pm, according to unofficial overnight figures.

A second episode of the comedy, which aired straight after the first, also did well, with 1.6 million viewers and a 7.4% share across 30 minutes.

The two episodes were the fifth- and sixth-best rated shows on BBC3 since it launched five years ago.

Gavin and Stacey's ratings last night were also a huge improvement on the first series, which averaged 500,000 viewers and a 2.7% multichannel share last year.

The new series received BBC3's second highest ratings for a comedy, behind Little Britain, which attracted 1.9 million viewers in October 2004.

BBC3's best-rated show overall is still Torchwood from October 2006, with 2.6 million viewers on debut.

The BBC digital channel also had a successful night earlier, with the movie repeat Raiders of the Lost Ark drawing 1.2 million viewers and a 5% multichannel share between 7.05pm and 9pm, providing a useful ratings inheritance for Gavin and Stacey.

A repeat of EastEnders attracted 899,000 viewers and a 4.7% share last night on BBC3.

Sky One's US drama Lost continued to do well, pulling in 1 million viewers and a 4.6% multichannel share in the 9pm hour.

BBC4's US drama Mad Men is proving a more niche attraction, with 170,000 viewers and a 0.9% share in the 10pm hour.

ITV2's Supernatural pulled in 669,000 viewers and a 3% share in the 9pm hour, with Bionic Woman attracting 548,000 and 3.1% an hour later.

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