Strike Back: Project Dawn, starring Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and Amanda Mealing, started its ten-part run with a solid 616k (2.6%) on Sky1 in the 9pm hour.
Ocean Giants, the Stephen Fry-narrated mini-series on the undersea world of whales and dolphins, continued with 5.15m (22%) on BBC One in the 9pm slot, outperforming Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'s 4.19m (17.9%) on ITV1 and 105k (0.6%) on +1.
Britain's Hidden Heritage appealed to 4.46m (22.8%) on BBC One from 6.30pm, before Countryfile commanded 6.14m (26.8%) from 7.30pm. A rerun of Joanna Lumley's Nile entertained 1.6m (9%) on ITV1 in the 7pm hour, before Born To Shine entertained 1.97m (9%) from 8pm.
Top Gear revved up 1.71m (8.7%) in the 7pm hour and business reality show Dragons' Den grabbed 3.32m (14.5%) from 8pm, up 360k week-on-week, while an additional 218k (1%) caught the programme on BBC HD. Drama The Man Who Crossed Hitler was enjoyed by 1.89m (8.3%) between 9pm and 10.30pm, when Match of the Day 2 nabbed 2.39m (16.6%).
Channel 4's A Place in the Sun attracted 940k (4.8%) in the 7pm hour and Holiday Hijack booked in 970k (4.2%) from 8pm. A showing of Sex and the City: The Movie appealed to 1.63m (8.8%) from 9pm and 182k (1.5%) on +1.
Highlights coverage of England's fourth Test against India was watched by 1.29m (6.7%) on Channel 5 in the 7pm hour and a screening of 10,000 BC had 1.22m (5.3%) from 8pm. Celebrity Big Brother captivated 2.15m (11.8%) in the 10pm hour.
Overall, BBC One owned primetime with 22.3% against ITV1's 11.3% (+1: 0.3%) and BBC Two's 11%. Channel 5 came next with 7%, followed by Channel 4 with 6.2% (+1: 0.4%).
On the multi-channels, after The X Factor returned to ITV1 on Saturday night, spinoff show Xtra Factor mustered 948k (5.3%) on ITV2 from 6.30pm and 351k (1.7%) on +1. Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum took 755k (3.2%) on BBC Three from 9pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional