The BBC One drama – recently re-commissioned for a third series – had 8.6 million viewers according to overnight figures.
Following Call the Midwife was gritty crime drama Ripper Street at 9pm. The period drama starring Matthew MacFadyen was absent last week because of the BAFTA film awards and its return this week was seen by just 4.7 million viewers – its lowest rating so far.
On ITV Dancing on Ice pulled in 6.5 million viewers for its main show between 6.15pm and 7.45pm. All Star Family Fortunes, which followed, had 4.9 million viewers followed by the Dancing on Ice skate-off edition.
The results show, during which Keith Chegwin left Dancing on Ice, could only muster 5 million viewers. At 9pm lavish period drama Mr Selfridge had the edge over its BBC rival Ripper Street with 5.7 million viewers tuning in but when time-shift ratings are factored in it rose to 6.1 million.
At 8pm on BBC Two motoring show Top Gear slipped to 4.6 million viewers. Professor Brian Cox’s new series The Wonders of Life pulled in 2.5 million viewers at 9pm.