The Body Farm, starring Keith Allen as Detective Inspector Craig Hale, continued with 4.75m (20.3%) on BBC One in the 9pm hour, down by 500k on last week's debut episode.
However, the drama easily outperformed 71 Degrees North, the show featuring celebrities such as Martin Kemp, Amy Williams and Brook Kinsella taking on challenges in Arctic conditions, which averaged 2.6m (11.2%) for ITV1 in the 9pm hour and 151k (0.9%) on +1.
Elsewhere, Mayday Mayday fetched 2.68m (12.1%) on ITV1 from 7.30pm. Missing Millions had 2.48m (10.5%) in the 8pm hour, but lost out to Holby City's 5.35m (22.7%) on BBC One. The Bomb Squad grabbed 1.6m (13.5%) on BBC One from 10.45pm.
BBC Two's repeat of Dragons' Den attracted 1.45m (6.8%) in the 7pm hour, before The Great British Bakeoff cooked up 3.85m (16.3%) in the 8pm slot. Hairy Bikers' Meals On Wheels delighted 2.03m (8.7%) on BBC Two. Later With Jools Holland returned for a new series with 750k (4%) from 10pm.
Inside Nature's Giants attracted 850k (3.6%) to Channel 4 from 8pm and 100k (0.4%) on +1. Observation documentary Seven Dwarves averaged 1.4m (6%) in the 9pm hour, and 239k (1.4%) an hour later, before new Shameless continued with 1.36m (8%) from 10pm and 176k (1.9%) on timeshift.
Real Food Family Cook Off served up 367k (1.6%) from 7.30pm. Revealed educated 1.01m (4.3%) in the 8pm slot, before CSI: Miami investigated 1.56m (6.7%) from 9pm. Big Brother entertained 1.46m (8.6%) in the 10pm hour.
Overall, BBC One won primetime with 23.4%, ahead of ITV1's modest 13% (+1: 0.4%). BBC Two came next with 9.4%, followed by Channel 4 and Channel 5 jointly with 5% (C4+1: 0.7%).
On the multi-channels, Don't Tell The Bride climbed to an impressive 1.02m (4.4%) from 9pm, and Elijah Wood's comedy Wilfred amused 504k (3.3%) from 10.30pm.
Ashton Kutcher's debut as replacement for Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men was seen by 803k (3.4%) on Comedy Central from 9pm, the channel's biggest ever UK audience.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional