The penultimate episode of the series, which saw James McQuillan, Lorraine Tighe and Debra Barr all fired by Sir Alan, averaged 9.22m (38.7%) during the 9pm hour. The previous high for the series was the opener, which took 8.11m (33.3%).
The half-hour The Apprentice: You're Fired then took 3.97m (18.5%) for BBC Two at 10pm.
The Apprentice attracted three times as many viewers as its nearest rival, ITV1's Cops With Cameras, which put in 2.97m (12.5%). Embarrassing Bodies was close behind, drawing 2.51m (10.5%) for Channel 4.
BBC Two's Kate Adie Returns To Tiananmen Square grabbed 1.21m (5.1%), and Five came in last place during the hour, pulling in 933k (3.9%) with Extraordinary People: The World's Strongest Toddler.
Earlier, at 8pm, BBC One's The Apprentice: The Final Five, an in-depth look at the profiles of those left in the running, took 4.74m (21.6%), just behind The Bill's 4.82m (22%) for ITV1.
BBC Two's Springwatch was seen by 2.83m (12.9%), River Cottage interested 2.39m (10.9%) for Channel 4, and 625k (2.9%) tuned in for the eighth and final episode of Five's Oil Riggers.
Overall, BBC One came top during primetime with an average share of 25.1% to ITV1's 19.9%. Channel 4 was third with 8.7% (+1: 0.9%), followed by BBC Two with 9.2% and Five's 3.6%.
Elsewhere, the 8pm screening of Gossip Girl put in 173k (0.9%) for ITV2 with a further 25k (0.1%) tuning in on timeshift, and the series two opener of Life managed 205k (1.2%) for ITV3 at 10pm.
Ratings data supplied by Attentional