The first episode of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off was watched live by an average of 5.8 million viewers.
The audience for the launch show rose to 6.5 million when those watching on +1 were included in the figures.
It’s the lowest figure for an opening episode of GBBO since 2013 – when the show attracted 5.6 million viewers to BBC Two.
But the show still won the channel its biggest overnight audience since the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012.
“The Great British Bake Off’s audience last night proves it’s still one of the country’s favourite shows,” tweeted Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt.
“I am delighted millions watched the new team put 12 magnificent bakers through their paces.”
The figures don’t include those who watch the show on the network’s catch-up service All 4.
Last week Hunt said she would consider anything above 3 million viewers a success for the programme.
“If it gets 5, 6, 7 [million] I would be absolutely delighted,” she told the Edinburgh International TV Festival.
“This show breaks even at around 3 million, so anything north of that would be fantastic.”
Bake Off: Launch episode ratings
- 2010: 2 million (BBC Two)
- 2011: 2.8 million
- 2012: 3.5 million
- 2013: 5.6 million
- 2014: 7.2 million (BBC One)
- 2015: 9.3 million
- 2016: 10.4 million
- 2017: 5.8 million (Channel 4; 6.5 million including +1)
BBC One’s highest audience of Wednesday night was for EastEnders, which attracted 5.5 million viewers at 20:00 BST.
Emmerdale was watched by a live audience of 5.4 million viewers, making it ITV’s highest-rated programme of the night.