Cop shows top free-to-air charts

Cop shows ruled the free-to-air TV series charts in Singapore last year.

The most-watched show on Channel 8 was police procedural C.L.I.F. 2, with an average of 901,000 viewers tuning in every episode, according to figures released by MediaCorp.

The Mandarin 20-parter, a sequel to the 2011 hit C.L.I.F., starred Joanne Peh, Rui En and Qi Yuwu, and ran from February to March last year.

In second place on the channel was The Dream Makers, a drama that follows the lives of various employees in a TV station. Starring big names Zoe Tay, Rui En and Chen Liping, the show, which ran last June to August, was watched by 885,000 viewers every episode.

Taking third spot are three different dramas, all of which averaged 835,000 viewers every episode - period blockbuster The Journey: A Voyage, which aired from last November to January this year; family drama It's A Wonderful Life, shown in January and February last year; and Break Free, about the lives of four men after they are released from jail, shown from March to April last year.

Over on Channel 5, immigration drama Point Of Entry's third season topped the ratings contest, with an average of 322,000 viewers per episode for its run from December 2012 to March last year.

The show, which starred Hong Kong actor Carl Ng, Jaymee Ong and Darryl Yong, follows an elite team of immigration officers as they solve immigration offence cases. It made its debut in 2010, with Ng in the lead role as special operations team leader Glenn Chua. The current fourth season, which started airing last December, has Canadian actor Jack Yang taking over Ng's part.

Period police drama Mata Mata was second on the English-language channel's list of top shows, with an average of 298,000 viewers per episode.

The new series, set in post-war Singapore, starred Cheryl Wee as a feisty policewoman from the country's first female constabulary. Graphic designer Wong Shuhui, 26, a fan of Mata Mata mostly for its "very good-looking cast", including George Young, Paul Foster, Jason Godfrey, Daniella Sya and Nadiah M. Din, says: "The romantic chemistry between some characters was very strong. And even though their acting was quite stiff sometimes, I still wanted to watch and find out what happened.

"The costumes and sets were beautiful, and the way the characters interacted with one another was also different, more coy."

Audiences' nostalgia and appetite for the romance associated with Singapore's past could explain why, despite C.L.I.F. 2's strong ratings, it still lags far behind Channel 8's 2008 mega-hit The Little Nyonya.

That series, about a long-suffering Peranakan woman in the 1930s, set a record when its two-hour finale drew 1.67 million viewers - a feat that no other drama on the channel has come close to replicating since.

Coming in at No. 3 for Channel 5 is American thriller series Missing, starring Ashley Judd, which was seen by an average of 295,000 viewers each episode.

Outside of scripted dramas, the variety show that did the best on Channel 8 last year was Say It!, a show that challenges local celebrities' command of English and Mandarin. It drew an average of 768,000 viewers per episode when it ran from August to November.

The channel's top special programme was the live broadcast of the Star Awards 2013 - Show 2, which hands out acting and popularity awards to local stars. That one-night programme on April 28 drew 1.66 million viewers, which is also the most for all programmes across all local channels.

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