Starring Jeremy Piven and Katherine Kelly, the lavish series opened its doors to a bumper audience of 6.86 million (26.7%) between 9pm and 10.30pm, with a further 521,000 watching on ITV1 +1.
ITV's Mr Selfridge won its first clash with BBC One's Ripper Street, which held a decent 5.37m (19.9%) in the 9pm hour.
Earlier in the evening, Dancing on Ice returned with 7.77m (30.5%) from 6.15pm, down on last year's launch show by nearly a million viewers. The performance show added 289k on ITV1 +1.
Then at 8.30pm, Pamela Anderson's departure in The Skate Off earned the network 6.96m (25%) and 224k on timeshift, a superior audience to 2012's first results show.
Sandwiched between the skating format, All Star Family Fortunes attracted a healthy 6.4m (23.8%) as Vernon Kay achieved his second ratings victory of the weekend after Saturday's Splash!.
Meanwhile, BBC One's early evening lineup of Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow managed impressive audiences of 6.13m (23.2%) and 6.08m (22.2%) at 7pm and 8pm respectively.
Channel 4's premiere of 2011 Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep, pulled in 1.79m (7.7%) from 9pm (+1: 279k), but The Hotel took the spoils with 2.17m (7.9%) an hour earlier in the 8pm slot.
Elsewhere, a steamy edition of Celebrity Big Brother soared to 2m (7.4%) in Channel 5's 9pm slot, adding 194k an hour later.
Over on BBC Two, the last ever episode of Fawlty Towers amused 1.39m (5.2%) and was the channel's best-rated broadcast of the night.
Overall, ITV1 reigned victorious in primetime with 25.9% (+1: 1.2%) against BBC One's 20%. Channel 4 followed in third place with 6.6% (+1: 0.6%), ahead of Channel 5's 4.8% (+1: 0.7%), and BBC Two's 4.6%.
Returning for a fourth run, Got to Dance enthralled 685k (2.8%) and 738k (2.8%) between 6pm and 8pm on Sky1, while drama Hawaii Five-0 appealed to 569k (2.1%) later on.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional