The three-part adaptation of Henning Mankell's books stars Kenneth Branagh as the titular Swedish detective. Episode one, guest starring Nicholas Hoult, drew an impressive 6.2m (24%) over 90 minutes from 9pm.
On ITV1 at the same time, I'm A Celebrity logged 7.95m (30.7%), while on BBC Two, Louis Theroux's latest documentary Law and Disorder In Philadelphia put in a strong 3.17m (11.9%) for the 9pm hour.
Earlier, Britannia High dropped to its lowest audience yet, registering just 2.01m (8.3%) for ITV1 in the 7pm hour. It was beaten by a repeat of travel documentary Long Way Down on BBC Two, with 2.34m (9.6%), and BBC One's Antiques Roadshow, with a colossal 8.72m (34.2%) from 7.15pm.
ITV1 remained in third place in the 8pm hour with male music show Here Come The Boys, which averaged a disappointing 2.67m (9.4%). The Strictly Come Dancing results show, in which Christine Bleakley departed, had 9.68m (33.6%) from 8.15pm, the day's best numbers on any channel. BBC Two's Top Gear drew 6.97m (24.5%) for the hour.
Channel 4 movie The Parent Trap had a decent 1.99m (7.7%) between 6.30pm and 9pm, then documentary Chaos At The Zoo - following designer Anna Ryder Richardson as she purchases a zoo in Pembrokeshire - interested 1.35m (5%).
BBC One maintained its primetime lead with an average share of 28.1% (last week: 29.3%). Despite the strong performance of I'm A Celebrity, poor ratings early in primetime meant that ITV1 languished on 17.6% (18.4%). BBC Two was a close third with 15.3% (14.1%), followed by Channel 4 on 6.4% (2.9%) and Five on 5.9% (7%).
Repeats of Saturday's The X Factor proved popular for ITV2, with 834k (4.6%) watching the performances show at 4.50pm, then 1.24m (6.1%) tuning in for a rerun of the results show at 6.30pm.
The top-rated multichannel programme of the day was Sky Sports 1's coverage of the Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal, which drew an average of 2.05m (12.8%) over 3 hours from 3.30pm. Preceding coverage of Man City vs Man Utd had 1.79m (16.9%).
Ratings data supplied by Attentional