Putting up numbers that private networks would kill for, the PBS-hit "Downton Abbey's" season premiere brought in a whopping 7.9 million viewers.
With the steadily growing buzz from last season, this year's opening was 96-ercent higher than last season's, beating out all other networks except CBS.
According to the network, the numbers quadrupled their average primetime showing with only CBS' "The Good Wife" and "The Mentalist" topping it.
PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger explained, "'Downton Abbey' continues to enthrall audiences nationwide, and this season is especially riveting with the addition of Shirley MacLaine to the cast and the lively interaction between her and Maggie Smith. I’m so pleased that audiences have returned to 'Downton Abbey' on their local stations to continue to enjoy some of the best drama on television."