Jamie's School Dinners, which follows the chef as he takes control of the lunchtime meals for London's schoolkids, averaged 4.28 million viewers - a 17.6% share of the audience - in the 9pm hour. Episode two of Sir Alan Sugar's The Apprentice suffered as a result, with ratings down to an average of 1.77 million (7.3%).
Channel 4 enjoyed a strong night all round, with Desperate Housewives drawing 3.61 million (19.5%) in the following hour.
ITV1 was the clear winner, however, with its back-to-back lineup of drama programmes taking the top four spots. Coronation Street was the inevitable winner with 11.95 million (50.8%), while Emmerdale bounced back up to 9.76 million (44.0%). An explosive episode of The Bill enthralled 8.09 million (32.8%) at 8pm, with 6.86 million (28.2%) sticking around for Life Begins an hour later.
BBC One had a generally limp evening, beginning with just 3.48 million (14.1%) for an Ellen MacArthur documentary at 8pm. Crimewatch UK couldn't fare much better, with an average of 4 million (16.4%) in the 9pm slot.
Over on multichannel, top audience of the day was for Sky Sports 2's coverage of the Champions League clash between Barcelona and Chelsea, which had an average of 724,000 viewers (4.9%) between 6pm and 10.30pm. Sky Sports Extra's concurrent coverage of Man Utd's fixture against AC Milan pulled in 558,000 (3.8%).
Sky One's Braniac: Science Abuse managed 381,000 (2.4%) at 9pm while on E4 at the same time, Point Pleasant pulled in just 92,000 (0.6%). ITV2's top primetime showing was a new episode of US reality import Nanny 911, which had 292,000 (1.8%).
Elsewhere, MTV's TRL showed signs of picking up, with an average of 20,000 viewers (0.2%) in the 6pm hour.
Ratings data supplied by ViewingFigures.com