Fat Friends, the heavyweight calorie-counting drama, starring Alison Steadman, marked a triumphant return to terrestrial screens with 29.2% of the total evening’s market share.
If a bit of weight watching didn’t tempt viewers, then the prospect of Newcastle United beating Heerenveen in the Uefa cup saw almost 9.5% of the total evening’s share of viewers tuning in to see the Geordies win 2-1 on Five.
Elsewhere, the other channels tried to woo viewers away from sport and drama with documentary offerings.
Horizon’s An Experiment to Save the World looked at an American scientist’s controversial claim to have created nuclear fusion as a possible future energy source.
However, it failed to electrify viewers, getting an average audience of 2 million viewers.
The big loser of the night was Channel 4’s The English Civil War. The dramatic reconstruction of the trial of the men who signed the death warrants of King Charles I struggled to get over an average of 1 million viewers.
By Matt Chittock