South Riding, a three-part mini-series starring David Morrissey and Anna Maxwell Martin, averaged 6.62m (23.9%) for BBC One in the 9pm hour.
The programme held its own against Wild At Heart, with the long-running ITV1 drama pulling in 6.76m (23.6%) from 8.30pm and 89k (0.4) on +1.
South Riding also stood tall against Dancing On Ice: The Skate-Off, which entertained 6.63m (24.6%) from 9.30pm, down 700k week-on-week. The show, featuring the elimination of Kerry Katona, grabbed a further 194k (1.2%) on timeshift.
Elsewhere on ITV1, the main Dancing On Ice programme fetched 8.32m (30.9%) from 6.15pm and 184 (0.6%) on +1. That Sunday Night Show had 3.07m (14.8%) from 10pm and 121k (1.1%) an hour later.
Earlier on BBC One, Countryfile brought in 6.15m (23%) in the 6pm hour, before Antiques Roadshow managed 6.19m (21.2%). Later, Match Of The Day 2 scored with 1.44m (11.3%) from 11pm.
Over at BBC Two, Graham Hill - Driven revved up 1.44m (5.4%) in the 7pm hour and new Top Gear entertained 5.26m (18%) from 8pm and 756k (2.6%) on BBC HD. Toughest Place To Be a Paramedic mustered 2.09m (7.5%) in the 9pm hour, before a screening of The Prestige enchanted 1.31m (8.9%).
Channel 4's Come Dine With Me entertained 1.57m (5.9%) in the 8pm hour and 284k (1%) on +1. The People's Supermarket had 1.06m (3.6%) from 9pm and 149k (0.5%) on timeshift, and then the The Promise took 1.19m (4.8%) and 97k (0.6%) an hour later.
On Channel 5, Royal Navy Caribbean Patrol roused 661k (2.3%) in the 8pm hour, before a screening of Ghost Rider appealed to 1.44m (6.2%).
Overall, ITV1 won primetime with 25.3% (+1: 0.6%) against BBC One's 21.9%. BBC Two came in third with 10%, followed by Channel 4 with 4.7% (+1: 0.7%) and Channel 5 with 4.4%.
Elsewhere, Being Human continued on BBC Three with 1.19m (4.3%) from 10pm and 182k (0.7%) on BBC HD. Sky1's talent show Got To Dance attracted 940k (3.9%) between 6pm and 7.30pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional