The new series of Big Brother launched on Thursday night with less than half the audience of last year’s celebrity version.
Celebrity Hijack had a combined total of 3.4 million viewers on Channel 4 and E4.
The 2007 Celebrity Big Brother, featuring Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty, opened with 7.1 million viewers on Channel 4 alone.
As a result of the race row which overshadowed that series, Channel 4 bosses decided to replace it this year with the Celebrity Hijack format.
Famous faces are taking over the role of Big Brother, while the housemates are 12 young people chosen for their intelligence and talent. Little Britain’s Matt Lucas was first to play Big Brother on Thursday.
The programme was simulcast on Channel 4 and E4 from 9pm-10pm. The last half hour was broadcast on E4 only and drew 1.9 million viewers, the digital channel’s highest-ever audience for a home-grown commission.
The programme is now showing on E4 only.
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “The viewing figures are not really comparable with Celebrity Big Brother because this is an E4 show. It is completely different programme, from the format to the selection of the housemates, and it is geared towards a younger audience. We are pleased with the figures.”