Spooks, reaching its conclusion on BBC One after 10 series, delighted 5.13m (18.4%) in the 9pm hour. However, the spy drama struggled to compete with Downton Abbey, which averaged 8.87m (32.6%) on ITV1 from 9pm and 323k (1.8%) on timeshift.
The X Factor pulled in 11.12m (39.8%) on ITV1 from 8pm, peaking at 12.42m (42.3%) for the last 15 minutes as Sami Brookes lost the sing-off to Kitty Brucknell and was eliminated from the competition.
A further 163k (0.6%) watched The X Factor on ITV1+1. Spinoff show The Xtra Factor grabbed 973k (3.6%) for ITV2 from 9pm and 138k (0.7%) on +1. Afterwards, series three of The Only Way Is Essex continued with 1.18m (6.4%) on ITV2 from 10.15pm and 135k (1.5%) on timeshift.
BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing managed 9.66m (37.6%) between 7.30pm and 8pm, as Rory Bremner became the latest celebrity to exit the new series.
Elsewhere on BBC One, Songs of Praise stayed tuneful with 2.3m (12.9%) from 5.30pm, Countryfile nabbed an impressive 7.27m (32.7%) from 7pm and Antiques Roadshow took 6.03m (21.6%) from 8pm. Have I Got a Bit More News For You amused 1.96m (11.9%) from 10.30pm.
Back on ITV1, quiz show Holding Out For a Hero continued with 2.16m (8.8%) from 6.45pm. The Adrian Chiles-fronted That Sunday Night Show fetched 1.49m (8%) from 10.15pm.
Channel 5's showing of Toy Story 2 captivated 2.57m (11.3%) between 6pm and 8pm, before Paul Merton's Adventures amassed 712k (2.5%). Big Brother appealed to 1.26m (4.5%) in the 9pm hour and a screening of Two Weeks Notice appealed to 732k (4.7%) from 10pm.
A repeat of Top Gear revved up 1.81m (3.6%) on BBC Two from 6.30pm, before Operations Jericho mustered 1.59m (5.7%). Fry's Planet Word enchanted 1.25m (4.5%) from 9pm and Match of the Day 2 scored with 3.83m (22.5%) from 10pm.
Grand Designs built 850k (3.4%) on Channel 4 from 6pm and 131k (0.5%) on +1. River Cottage Veg served up 1.628m (4.6%) in the 8pm hour and 191k (0.7%) on timeshift. The Secret Millionaire took 1.46m (5.2%) from 9pm and 290k (1.5%). Chris Moyles' Hollywood Stars pulled in 790k (3.9%) from 10pm and 158k (1.5%) an hour later.
Overall, ITV1 won primetime with 25.6% (+1: 0.6%) against BBC One's 22.8%. BBC Two came in third with 9.1%, followed by Channel 5's 5.4% and Channel 4's 4.3% (+1: 0.7%).
On the multi-channels, Strike Back: Project Dawn continued with 479k (1.7%) on Sky1 in the 9pm hour. Madagascar delighted 918k (3.3%) on BBC Three from 7.45pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional