Show Me The Funny, a search for the next stand-up comedy superstar, debuted with just 2.64m (10.7%) on ITV1 in the 9pm hour, along with 110k (0.6%) on +1.
The programme was easily outperformed by series eight of crime drama New Tricks, which rose to 8.73m (35.6%) on BBC One from 9pm, up by more than 1m week-on-week.
Fake Britain fetched 3.76m (17.1%) on BBC One from 7.30pm, while Countrywise Kitchen served up 3.19m (13.5%) on ITV1 from 8pm. An episode of Panorama on the deepening crisis around media tycoon Rupert Murdoch grabbed 3.62m (15.2%) on BBC One from 8.30pm. A new series of The Celebrity Apprentice USA launched on BBC One with 640k (9.5%) from 11.45pm.
The Truth About Wildlife and Canal Walks with Julia Bradbury scooped 870k (4.3%) and 1.28m (5.8%) respectively on BBC Two in the 7pm hour. University Challenge and Antiques Master captivated 2.52m (10.7%) and 1.59m (6.7%) in the 8pm hour. The Life of Muhammad, a controversial new documentary mini-series on the prophet Muhammad, appealed to 1.38m (5.6%) from 9pm and QI amused 1.93m (9.4%) from 10pm.
Dispatches: How to Buy A Football Club pulled in 900k (3.8%) in the 8pm hour and 106k (0.4%) on +1. Embarrassing Bodies enthralled 2.03m (8.2%) from 9pm and 477k (2.6%) on timeshift. Comedy drama Sirens continued with 960k (5.4%) from 10pm, along with 122k (1.4%) on timeshift.
Channel 5's How Do They Do It? appealed to 370k (1.7%) from 7.30pm, before Police Interceptors arrested 1.3m (5.6%) from 8pm. A showing of Bad Boys mustered 1.35m (6.8%) from 9pm.
Overall, BBC One won primetime with 26% against ITV1's 20.8% (+1: 0.4%). BBC Two came in third place with 6.9%, followed by Channel 4's 5.3% (+1: 0.9%) and Channel 5's 4.9%.
Elsewhere, Small Teen, Bigger World averaged 621k (2.5%) for BBC Three in the 9pm hour. World's Craziest Fools entertained 616k (3.7%) from 10.30pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional