Five beats ITV1 and Channel 4 with The Mentalist

LONDON - Five's first helping of US crime drama 'The Mentalist' pulled in 3.6m viewers and a 16% audience share, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Golden Globe nominated Aussie Simon Baker stars as Patrick Jane, a detective who uses his keen sense of observation to nab baddies as 'The Mentalist', which was a hit in the US last year.

The debut episode was directed by David Nutter, who has wowed TV viewers in the past directing pilots for such hits as 'Smallville', 'Without a Trace', 'Dark Angel' and 'Supernatural'.

ITV1 examined 'The Truth about Super Skinny Pregnancies' and the increased pressure for new mothers -- piled on by celebrity rags -- to stay svelte during and after childbirth. The documentary drew 2.5m in the 9pm-10pm slot, good enough for a 11.3% audience share.

Channel 4's documentary offering 'Trophy Kid' examined a different kind of pressure, the kind only an overbearing parent can bring while pushing their children into the top echelon of sport, through a combination of unrealistic ambitions and obscene training regimes.

'Trophy Kid' pulled in 1.4m to Channel 4 and a 6.2% audience share. A further 150,000 tuned in on Channel 4+1.

In the end, the evening belonged to BBC One and its documentary 'The Hottest Place On Earth' which followed seasoned explorers into the incredible depths of the Danakil desert in northern Ethiopia. Just over 4m watched the second half of the two-part series, enough for an 18.2% audience share.

BBC Two offered viewers another doc, 'Ghosts of The Exxon Valdez', which took a closer look at the eco-disastrous oil spill which blighted Alaska's Bligh Reef in 1989, and was watched by 1.3m and a 6% audience share.

 

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