'Royle' return for Aherne and co
Written by Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash and Phil Mealey, the show, last on TV in 2000, managed a 32.6% share for the BBC, up on the 9pm slot average of 5.8 million for this year.
On BBC1 in March, the first two episodes of My Family's sixth series attracted 7.7 million viewers.
ITV1's one-off drama Mysterious Creatures, starring Timothy Spall and Brenda Blethyn, managed 3.9 million and a 16.9% share in the same slot.
ITV fared much better earlier in the evening. Now in its 16th series, police drama Heartbeat managed significantly more viewers in its 8pm slot, with 8.3 million tuning in, achieving a 33.2% share. BBC1's Incredible Animal Journeys at 8pm managed 3.7 million.
Coronation Street achieved 9.6 million, the biggest audience for the night on any channel.
Channel 4's Deal or No Deal, did well for the channel with two helpings of the quiz show, including a one-year anniversary special featuring impressionist Jon Culshaw. The first show brought in 3.8 million viewers and a 18.5% share at 5.55pm, while the second drew 3.4 million and a 13.5% share at 8pm. Channel 4's slot average for the latter slot is 1.7 million and 7%.
Channel 4's showing of the remake of The Italian Job had 2.7 million viewers and a 13% share between 9pm and 11.05pm.
BBC2's coverage of the climax to the Snooker Grand Prix from Aberdeen drew 2 million viewers and a 9% share from 8pm.
Five's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland achieved just 711,000 and a 3.1% share, while Make Me a Supermodel had just 600,000 viewers at 8pm.
Outside the main channels, BBC3 drama series Torchwood lost some of its record-breaking audience, dropping 800,000 from the 2.4 million it achieved last week to 1.6 million.