'Curb' crawling

BBC4 comedy a ratings disaster

BBC4's first foray into comedy has been a humiliating ratings failure.

The channel screened the first two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the acclaimed sitcom from Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, on Wednesday night.

But the opener attracted just 41,000 viewers at 10.30pm, and more than half of those switched off before the second instalment, which attracted pitiful ratings of19,000.

In comparison, a Sex And The City rerun on the Paramount Comedy Channel was seen by 69,000 viewers, according to the unofficial overnight ratings.

Curb Your Enthusiasm had been critically acclaimed, and was the critics' pick of the day in a number of magazines, including the bestselling Radio Times.

In the States, where the show is screened on the premium HBO channel, the show attracts audiences of around 5million.

BBC4 has come in for criticism for low ratings since launching a year ago, although the corporation insists the high-brow digital channel is driven by programme quality, not big viewing figures.

Chortle's review of the show


Published: 28 Feb 2003

Today's comedy-on demand picks

LA PRINCESA DE WOKING

Emma Sidi has taken great care to replicate the authentic feel of 1980s Spanish-language telenovelas in this spot-on parody, set in contemporary small-town England and which she describes as 'a bit Acorn Antiques, bit Garth Marenghi'.

At her mother's untimely funeral, Becky Hello (a typical British millennial as imagined by Mexican writers who have never been to the UK) discovers she has inherited a fortune. But it isn't long before nefarious family members begin to circle, and Becky must keep her wits about her if she is to avoid the same fate as her mother.

Click for more suggestions

... including a series of six films of Ross Noble on tour and Beef House, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's absurd take on the 1990s sitcom.

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