BBC1's 'Watchdog' Thrashes Big Money Gameshow 'Red Or Black?' In Ratings Battle
PRESS ASSOCIATION -- ITV1's big money gameshow Red Or Black? was hammered by BBC1 consumer show Watchdog as it continues to jettison viewers.
The main hour-long programme pulled in an average audience of just 3.9 million - a new low since it launched on Saturday, losing nearly three million viewers.
Even the live final - in which a contestant walked away with a £1 million prize - pulled in just 4.1 million.
The show, created by Simon Cowell, has been hugely expensive to stage with a budget estimated at £15 million.
And it has been mired in controversy after it emerged that the first millionaire it created had been jailed for attacking a woman, thought to be his ex-girlfriend.
Show bosses were criticised for allowing him to keep the cash and then three more contestants were dropped from the show after producers reviewed their background checks.
The series kicked off on ITV1 on Saturday with an average of 6.6 million for its first slot of the evening and then 7.2 million for the later results show.
But last night the main programme lost out to Watchdog which landed a 5.2 million audience. The 9.30pm final of Red Or Black?, despite shedding viewers over the week, did win its time slot beating BBC1's Torchwood as well as the final of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5.
This week Simon predicted his programme - which is fronted by Ant and Dec - would be recommissioned. He said: "ITV are happy - I think there will be a second series."
An ITV spokesman said: "Red or Black? has made fantastic start with three contestants winning £1 million and the show launching as the most popular new entertainment programme on UK television this year." But the network would not confirm any future plans.