Red Dwarf X's third episode 'Lemons', in which the gang found themselves marooned in 23 AD, pulled in 1.16m (5.2%) in the 9pm hour - putting itself ahead of Channel 5.
Despite gaining viewers week-on-week, the show could not re-establish its lead over Celebrity Juice, which commanded 1.21m (6.8%) for ITV2 at 10pm and 202k (2.1%) on +1.
Against the odds, the sci-fi sitcom - starring Craig Charles and Chris Barrie - beat Keith Lemon's hugely popular Juice in its first week, and Dwarf's first series in 13 years has reaffirmed its place as UKTV's most-watched show of all time.
Russell Howard's Good News climbed to 862k (3.9%) for BBC Three at 9pm, ranking as the night's third best-rated multichannel broadcast. Some 298k (7.9%) Howard fans caught Good News at 12.30am.
ITV2 topped the digital channels by some margin with an average primetime share of 2.7%, helped by The X Factor USA's 546k (2.5%) in the 8pm hour.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional