Tonight's The Night beat Stephen Mulhern's Magic Numbers, which launched with only 2.59m (13%) for ITV1.
Prior to that, a repeat of You've Been Framed amused 2.93m (17.7%), after which Bradley Walsh gameshow Odd One In started with a similarly disappointing 2.86m (15.4%).
Later at 9pm, 30 Years Of An Audience With put in 3m (14.6%), convincingly beaten by Casualty which had 4.74m (22.9%).
Elsewhere on BBC One, early evening film Toy Story 2 managed a decent 3.4m (22.1%) from 5.30pm, which helped 101 Ways To Leave A Gameshow to hold 3.9m (21.3%). Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow logged 3.39m (18.1%) at 9.50pm.
Live Golf: The Open Championship boosted BBC Two's ratings, with an average of 2.4m (13.9%) for four hours from 5.15pm, recording a peak of 3.21m (15.8%) at 8.45pm. Michael Caine's film Is Anybody There? followed with 1.78m (9.1%)
Over on Five, a double bill of NCIS repeats which had 944k (5.2%) and 1.28m (6.5%), then CSI grabbed 1.37m (7.4%), and Law and Order interested 864k (6.4%) at 10pm.
Channel 4's screening of Guns Of The Magnificent Seven mustered 869k (4.6%). Big Brother, meanwhile, took 1.62m (7.9%), and Misfits appealed to 652k (3.7%) at 10pm.
Overall, BBC One thrashed ITV1 with 20.9% to 13.4%. BBC Two was third with 11.8%, Five followed with 6.1%, and Channel 4 finished bottom of the pile with 5.2%.
Lewis and A Touch of Frost pulled in 931k (4.7%) and 581k (3.4%) for ITV3, which averaged 4% in primetime.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional