Britain's star-studded event, which peaked with 27m viewers in figures released overnight, was inches away from matching a 1996 episode of Only Fools and Horses.
The BBC's Olympics opening ceremony coverage did, however, overtake ITV's 1965 showing of the Royal Variety Performance (24.2m), as well as a 1979 edition of To The Manor Born (23.95m).
Danny Boyle's curtain raiser, which featured James Bond, Mr Bean and Sir Paul McCartney, has also smashed records online. The show attracted 1.7m iPlayer requests in a few days.
Team GB's gold medal flurry has seen figures jump to over 17m over the weekend, with ratings expected to increase even further over the next week.
Watch Digital Spy chat to the stars about all-things Olympics below: