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'Downton Abbey' Ends Third Season on U.K.'s ITV With Season-High Ratings

U.K.'s ITV First-Quarter Revenue up 1 PercentU.K.'s ITV First-Quarter Revenue up 1 Percent

LONDON - Downton Abbey finished its third season on U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV1 on Sunday with a season-high ratings performance.

The costume drama drew a peak audience of 10.7 million and an average viewership of 10.1 million when including viewers on ITV1+1, a catch-up network that re-airs shows with an hour delay. At the end of September, the show had reached a then-season high of 10.0 million average viewers.

"Downton bows out with a series high - peak of 10.7m (av 10.1m)," an ITV spokeswoman tweeted Monday.

The average rating made Downton the biggest show of Sunday night, but in terms of peak viewership, The X Factor, also on ITV1, beat it with 10.9 million. The music competition show drew an average of 9.2 million viewers on Sunday. Again, the figures included viewership on ITV1+1.

BBC's celebrity dance show Strictly Come Dancing continued to beat X Factor on both weekend nights in terms of average audience figures. It drew an average of 9.6 million on Sunday, but its 10.4 million peak came in slightly below X Factor.

On Saturday, X Factor had reached an average audience of 7.8 million, with a peak viewership of 8.6 million. Strictly had recorded an average audience of 9.8 million, with a peak viewership of 10.8 million.

On Sunday, U.K. tabloids had written about a health scare for Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith.

But a spokesperson for the actress said: "Reports in the Sunday Mirror and Mail On Sunday that Maggie Smith has been rushed to hospital with a heart scare are untrue. She is fine and well and at home."


Twitter: @georgszalai