After a five-year hiatus, Big Brother made its long-awaited return to UK screens. However, the iconic reality show failed to make a big impact for ITV.
The 20th series of Big Brother premiered on ITV1 and ITV2 on Sunday evening, attracting 2.5 million viewers, as reported by overnight BARB figures from Overnights.TV.
Although Big Brother won the 9 PM time slot, it fell significantly short of the day’s highest-rated show: Strictly Come Dancing, which entertained 6.6 million viewers on BBC1.
Comparing it to the final season’s launch on Channel 5 in 2018, when only 900,000 people tuned in for the start of Season 19, Big Brother’s ITV premiere performed better.
The show’s initial season on Channel 5 in 2011 had higher viewership, with 2.6 million people tuning in.
The 2023 launch of Big Brother, hosted by AJ Odudu and Will Best, was still far from the show’s glory days on Channel 4 when it used to premiere to audiences of over 7 million.
It is worth noting that viewing habits have significantly changed since then, and the overnight figures do not include those watching on the streaming service ITVX.