More than 12 million people watched the triple bill of ITV1 soap Coronation Street on Monday.
The episodes featured a dramatic story featuring Sarah-Louise and Todd
The episodes saw the fallout from Todd Grimshaw telling his pregnant fiance Sarah-Louise that he was gay and could not go through with their wedding.
The huge audience also saw a fight between Gail Platt and Todd's mother.
But the episodes rated nearly five million less than the February 2003 special that saw serial killer Richard Hillman admit he was a murderer.
When Hillman drowned a few episodes later, his demise was watched by 19.4 million people. Those ratings helped the soap become the most-watched programme of 2003.
But an ITV spokesperson denied any disappointment over the figures.
"We are absolutely delighted that so many viewers enjoyed the climax of this fantastic storyline," they said.
BBC One could only attract 2.1 million viewers for Real Story, 3.3 million for makeover programmes Changing Rooms, and 3.9 million for the news at 10pm.
An episode of EastEnders on BBC One at 8pm was watched by an audience of 11 million.
Coronation Street recently announced veteran entertainer Sir Norman Wisdom was to join the show's cast.
The 89-year-old will grace the series as elderly fitness fanatic Ernie Crabbe, who saves Jack Duckworth from a stringent exercise regime.