What we watched: TV oldies still come out on top

It was a festival of toys, tears and talent shows in 2013, with a swell GAA season for RTÉ

The oldies are still the goodies. Probably only the Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special has a realistic chance of toppling The Late Late Toy Show's crown as the most watched programme of the year, as keyed-up kids yet again managed to outshine the Late Late's more jaded adult guests.

With no World Cup, European championship or Olympic medal prospects to pull the nation together in sporting unison, it fell to the All-Ireland Senior Football Final to take the crown as the highest rating sports programme of the year, while in the final episode of its fourth run, Love/Hate broke the one million mark – an astonishing feat for a drama.

Coronation Street, which will be on UTV only from 2015, retained its crown as TV3's biggest draw. Its most-watched episode was in March, when viewers tuned in to watch Sunita Alahan (Shobna Gulati) try to escape a fire in the Rovers Return started by her lover, Karl Munro (John Michie).

Last Sunday's X Factor final took the number two spot for TV3, but ratings were down 45 per cent since the record viewership for the 2010 final.

The Late Late Toy Show
Friday, November 29th, RTÉ One
1,376,600 viewers


All-Ireland Senior Football Final, Dublin vs Mayo
Sunday, September 22nd, RTÉ Two
1,041,000 viewers

Love/Hate (final episode)
Sunday, October 6th, RTÉ One
1,007,500 viewers

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final, Cork vs Clare
Sunday, September 8th, RTÉ Two
885,200 viewers

Fair City
January 2nd, RTÉ One
691,000 viewers

Coronation Street (20.30pm episode)
Monday, March 18th, TV3
629,000 viewers

The X Factor (final results show)
Sunday, December 15th, TV3
506,200 viewers

All figures are average audiences (live watching or recorded and viewed on the same day). Source: TAM Ireland/Nielsen

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics