The American Future: A History, By Simon Schama - a four-part documentary tracing the history of important political issues in the States - drew 2.27m (10.5%) in the 9pm hour, up 300,000 on the finale of The Tudors in the same slot last week.
ITV1's Wire In The Blood regained the lead in the slot, with an average of 4.69m (21.6%) for the hour.
On BBC One, Harry & Paul ended its run with 3.66m (16.8%). Over its six weeks the comedy has averaged 3.37m (15.5%), down around a quarter on the slot average. The second episode of Little Britain USA followed at 9.30pm with 4.23m (19.5%), down 400,000 on last week's opener.
Channel 4's Ugly Betty drew 1.4m (6.5%) and was beaten by Five's NCIS, with 1.52m (7%).
Coronation Street polled the day's best numbers, averaging 8.68m (40.5%) for ITV1 at 7.30pm and 7.86m (34.3%) at 8.30pm. EastEnders notched up 8.37m (37.5%) for BBC One at 8pm and Emmerdale finished third with 6.76m (34.6%).
Big Cat Live continued on BBC One at 7.30pm with a decent 3.69m (17.2%) opposite Corrie.
Mastermind interested 2.12m (9.5%) on BBC Two at 8pm, then 2.03m (8.8%) remained for Gardeners' World in the latter half of the hour. Channel 4's A Place In The Sun: Home Or Away averaged 1.12m (5%) for the hour but was solidly beaten by Five's new series Police Interceptors, with 1.67m (7.4%).
Overall, ITV1 led primetime with an average audience share of 24.2% (last week: 24%) to BBC One's 21.6% (22.6%). BBC Two was third with 9.5% (8.8%), followed by Five on 5.8% (5.5%) and Channel 4 on 5.7% (5.5%).
The most watched multichannel show of the day was Fiver's Home & Away with 626,000 (4%) at 6.30pm, beating the 601,000 (3.6%) for E4's Hollyoaks. BBC Three's EastEnders repeat had 488,000 (2.9%) at 10pm.
Elsewhere, ITV2 pulled in 541,000 (3.3%) with the movie Pretty Woman between 9pm and 11.25pm.
Richard & Judy's New Position shed more viewers at 8pm, with an average of just 37,000 (0.2%) tuning in to Watch over the hour. The channel had greater success at 9pm with Dancing With The Stars, which averaged 89,000 (0.5%) over 80 minutes. The ensuing results show managed 80,000 (0.6%) then the movie xXx kept 95,000 (1.8%) until 1.50am.
Ratings data supplied by Attentional