EastEnders averaged 7.94m (37.9%) for BBC One from 7.30pm, as the day of Ronnie's sentencing finally arrived. An additional 1.07m (5.7%) saw BBC Three's repeat screening from 10pm.
Rural soap Emmerdale grabbed 6.22m (32.8%) on ITV1 from 7pm, as Nikhil ordered Jai to choose between him and Charity at the factory.
However, the second episode suffered in its head-to-head with EastEnders, pulling in just 3.73m (16.9%) from 8pm for Nicola's admission to Laurel that she still loves Jimmy. This did mean, though, that the +1 audience was higher than usual at 324k (1.4%).
The situation was a marked contrast to the last time the two soaps clashed last December, when Emmerdale was the clear winner.
Also on ITV1, Coronation Street appealed to 7.41m (32.5%) from 8.30pm and 159k (0.7%) on ITV1+1, as Fiz made a shocking decision about what she wants for Hope.
Elsewhere, Hollyoaks had 1.03m (5.8%) on Channel 4 from 6.30pm and 108k (0.5%) on +1, and E4's first look at the next episode mustered 362k (1.9%) from 7pm.
Earlier in the day, Doctors entertained 1.68m (22.4%) on BBC One from 1.45pm, while Neighbours had 792k (10.5%) on Channel 5. The Aussie drama's repeat screening was watched by 1.26m (9.2%) from 5.30pm.
Home and Away fetched 886k (5.4%) from 6pm, before 5*'s first look at the next episode entertained 452k (2.6%) from 6.30pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad