Does ‘Survivor’ make a triumphant comeback to UK screens, matching ‘Big Brother’ ratings?

The highly anticipated return of Survivor to UK screens over the weekend was met with steady ratings, with the show matching the first episode of Big Brother from earlier this month.

BBC One’s reboot of the popular CBS series peaked with 4 million viewers and maintained an average of 2.5 million on Saturday at 8:25 p.m. GMT (12:25 p.m. PT). The episode introduced the contestants, split them into teams, and presented the first set of challenges. While Survivor’s launch fell short of Strictly Come Dancing, which garnered 7.7 million viewers on BBC One, it still performed well.

The following night, hosted by Joel Dommett, the show maintained its steady ratings with 2.3 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The BBC is experimenting with a unique scheduling pattern for Survivor, inspired by the success of The Traitors. The show airs on both Saturday and Sunday nights, with the Sunday episode also being released on Sunday morning through the BBC iPlayer. This allows viewers to engage in watercooler moments while still being able to binge-watch episodes on the iPlayer.

Survivor’s Saturday rating was on par with the launch of Big Brother three weeks earlier. However, ITV emphasized that there was a significant increase in viewing on their VoD platform, ITVX. Since its premiere, the nightly episodes of Big Brother have been airing on the ITV 2 channel, consistently attracting just below 1 million viewers on average. The latest episode was watched by 800,000 viewers, approximately one-third of the Survivor audience, although it aired on a smaller channel. In a recent announcement, ITV revealed that all Big Brother evictions on Friday nights will now air on the main ITV channel, in addition to ITV 2 and ITVX.

Survivor was last seen on UK television 20 years ago when it aired on ITV, but it was cancelled after just two seasons. In contrast, Big Brother has aired on three different networks and is currently airing nightly on ITV 2.

Meanwhile, on Sunday night, BBC One’s prison drama Time returned for its second season, starring Bella Ramsey from Last of Us, and attracted 2.2 million viewers.

With the return of Survivor to the UK after a long hiatus, fans of the show, as well as new viewers, are excited to see what unfolds in the upcoming episodes. The steady ratings and echoing success of Big Brother’s recent launch suggest that reality TV continues to captivate British audiences.