Thandie Newton's Line of Duty beats James Norton's Grantchester in the Sunday night ratings battle

It was a feast of Sunday night TV viewing, but ultimately cop drama Line of Duty took the top spot for viewership.

The penultimate episode of BBC One’s Line Of Duty trumped the return of ITV’s Grantchester by more than two million viewers in Sunday night’s ratings.

The Thandie Newton-lead police drama averaged an audience of 6.6 million, while James Norton’s return attracted an average of 4.4 million.

The two shows went head to head in the 9pm slo,t and even at its peak of 4.7 million viewers Grantchester still had a two million shortfall in audience against its rival.

James Norton in Grantchester (ITV)
James Norton in Grantchester (ITV)

Line Of Duty has seen its weekly audience grow steadily since the show moved to BBC One in March. Previous series have aired on BBC Two.

Sunday night’s other new addition, The Durrells, returned with an audience of 5.5 million viewers, peaking at 5.9 million.

The ITV drama is based on British naturalist Gerard Durrell’s autobiographical books such as My Family And Other Animals, which document his childhood growing up on the Greek island of Corfu.

The Durrells has returned for a second series. (ITV)
The Durrells has returned for a second series. (ITV)

Keeley Hawes returns as Louisa, a widowed mother who moves her family to the island in the 1930s, for the second series.

The figures for ITV include viewers of the ITV+1 and ITV HD channels.

The drama went head to head with the final episode of Top Gear in the 8pm time slot.

BBC Two’s motoring programme peaked with an audience of 2.1 million and enjoyed an average of 1.9 million viewers.

Viewers praised former Friends star Matt LeBlanc with “saving” the show as it came to a high-octane end with an episode that featured boat racing and nude ramblers.

Matt returned to front the revamped series with Chris Harris and Rory Reid as co-hosts, following Chris Evans’ departure last year.

Other weekend viewing highlights included 9.2 million people tuning in to watch the second episode of Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night.

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