The apocalyptic drama, set in the aftermath of a virus that wipes out most of the world's population, was adapted from the Terry Nation book by Primeval's Adrian Hodges. The original TV adaptation ran for three series on the BBC in the '70s.
The 90-minute first episode pulled in an average of 6.47m (25.5%) over 90 minutes from 9pm, according to overnight data, with a peak of 7.82m (29.2%) at the start. The show held up well despite going up against ITV1's I'm A Celebrity, which had 7.57m (29.8%) over the same period.
Survivors was preceded by Strictly Come Dancing, which hit another series high. This week's results show, which saw model Jodie Kidd kicked off the dancefloor, drew an impressive 10.19m (35.5%) over 45 minutes. The night before, John Sergeant's final dance had brought in 10.16m (42.6%).
Earlier, Antiques Roadshow lost more than a million viewers on last week's record-breaking audience, but still pulled in a decent 8.64m (34.3%) from 7.15pm.
On ITV1 at the same time, Britannia High mustered 2.54m (10.6%), then Divas II appealed to a so-so 3.13m (11%).
Five's screening of comedy movie Men In Black had a strong 2.09m (7.9%) average between 7.05pm and 9pm, then Bad Boys II kept 1.32m (6.8%) until 11.50pm.
God Bless America, a Channel 4 documentary examining the impact of the Presidential election verdict on America's religious right, interested just 620k (2.6%) in the 7pm hour. A screening of John Cleese comedy Rat Race followed with 880k (3.2%) over two hours.
BBC One maintained its primetime lead with an overall share of 29.3% (last week: 27.5%) to ITV1's 18.4% (21.9%). BBC Two had 14.1% (12.7%) for third, followed by Five on 7% (5.8%). Channel 4 was down to a disastrous 2.9% (4.5%).
Multichannel successes included Sky1's new episode of The Simpsons, with 741k (3.7%) at 6.30pm; More4's Come Dine With Me marathon, which peaked with 688k (3.4%) at 6.50pm; and ITV3's Lewis, with 685k (3.3%) over two hours from 9pm.
> Adrian Hodges's comments on the first episode
> Digital Spy's review of episode one
> Saturday Ratings: 'Strictly' hits new series high
Ratings data supplied by Attentional