The Jesus Christ Superstar opera talent search's first auditions round, which featured Jason Donovan and Mel C as judges, attracted 3.04m (14.9%) between 7.30pm and 8.30pm and 172k (0.8%) on +1.
Modest starts for ITV talent shows haven't counted for much in the past, with neither The X Factor nor Britain's Got Talent launching with high numbers.
But Superstar wasn't helped by the rest of the channel's output, none of which broke the 2 million viewer mark: Primeval plunged once more to 1.59m (9.7%) at 5.30pm (+1: 275k/1.5%), You Cannot Be Serious amused just 1.37m (7.8%) at 6.30pm (+1: 110k/0.6%), and 1.98m (10.6%) watched You've Been Framed at 7pm (+1: 117k/0.6%) and Let's Get Gold concluded with 1.74m (8%) from 8.30pm.
BBC Two managed to beat ITV in peak time with its coverage of a Britain victory in the mens' doubles final averaging 2.35m (11.7%) between 6.10pm and 10pm.
The majority of terrestrial viewers stuck with BBC One, as film Raiders of the Lost Ark (4.47m/23.1%), The National Lottery: Secret Fortune (4.08m/19.1%), Casualty (4.15m/18.9%) and half-an-hour of the ladies' doubles final at Wimbledon (3.44m/17.1%) all putting in slot-winning performances.
Boxing gave Channel 5 a lift with 998k (6%) tuning in from 10pm, prior to which the latest Big Brother mustered 985k (4.5%). The reality show added 115k (0.6%) on +1.
Repeats of Doc Martin (1.12m/5.3%) and Lewis (1.01m/4.9%) helped ITV3 perform best among the multichannels.
Overall, BBC One easily topped primetime with 20.3%, with its nearest competitor BBC Two averaging 10%. ITV1 followed in third place with 9.3% (+1: 0.7%), ahead of Channel 4's 5.1% (+1: 0.6%), ITV3's 4.5%, and Channel 5's 4.3% (+1: 0.2%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional