Ocean Giants, the Stephen Fry-narrated mini-series on the undersea world of whales and dolphins, averaged 5.45m (22.7%) for BBC One in the 9pm hour, easily outperforming Law & Order: UK's 3.91m (16.3%) on ITV1 and 215k (1.1%) on +1.
BBC Two's screening of Glorious 39, a suspense thriller starring Bill Nighy and Romola Garai, was watched by 2.43m between 9pm and 11pm, while 194k (0.9%) tuned in on BBC HD.
Top Gear revved up 1.86m (9.6%) in the 7pm hour and 162k (0.8%) in HD, before business reality TV show Dragons' Den slumped to 2.96m, down 780k week-on-week. An additional 311k (1.4%) caught the show on BBC HD.
Britain's Hidden Heritage appealed to 4.87m (25.3%) on BBC One in the 7pm hour, before Countryfile commanded 6.3m (27.5%) from 8pm. A rerun of Joanna Lumley's Nile entertained 1.59m (8.3%) on ITV1 in the 7pm hour, before Born To Shine entertained 1.81m (7.9%) from 8pm.
A screening of Iron Man attracted 2m (9.8%) to Channel 4 from 6.45pm and 370k (1.6%) on +1. New series Streetdance launched with 910k (4%) from 9pm and 129k (0.8%) on timeshift.
On Channel 5, The True Story pulled in 678k (3%) in the 8pm hour and a showing of 300 mustered 1.24m (6%) between 9pm and 11.15pm.
Overall, BBC One owned primetime with 24.2% against BBC Two's 11.5%. ITV1 ranked in third with just 10.1% (+1: 0.5%), followed by Channel 4 with 6.9% (+1: 0.7%) and Channel 5 with 4.3%.
On the multi-channels, Don't Tell The Bride attracted 476k (2.1%) on BBC Three from 8pm, before Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum returned with 663k (2.8%) from 9pm. The Inbetweeners: Top Ten Moments was seen by 577k (3.1%) on E4 in the 10pm hour and 241% (2.4%) on +1.
Earlier in the day, the first Ford Super Sunday of the new English Premier League season pulled in 1.44m (14.3%) and 1.84m (13.8%) respectively on Sky Sports 1 between 1pm and 6.30pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional