The premiere of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities soared past 2.5m viewers last night, rewriting the record books in the process.
The first hour averaged 2.58m viewers, while the second hour kept up the pace at 2.41m. It won all demographic groups and peaked at 2.8m.
So You Think You Can Dance Australia and Desperate Housewives both hovered around the 1m mark while Good News Week struggled on 761,000.
Nine’s share for the evening was a huge 39.5% share.
Underbelly now becomes the highest rated Australian series launch since the introduction of OzTAM People Meters in 2001.
Kath & Kim’s premiere episode on Seven took 2.52m in 2007 while Always Greener premiered to 2m in 2001.
The highest figure achieved for any Packed to the Rafters episode is 2.06m.
The glory for Nine’s drama is sweet after it was denied a national audience for its 2008 premiere, following legal battles in Victoria.
Meanwhile News continues to draw Australians to their screens, compelled by scenes from the disastrous bushfires.
Seven News was first with 1.73m viewers, although in Melbourne Nine News took 557,000 viewers ahead of Seven’s 440,000 and TEN’s 432,000. ABC had 409,000.
Nine now has two nights under its belt in the first week of ratings with a sizeable lead (36.8%) over its rivals (Seven: 27.3%, TEN: 17.7%) . Seven is bound to narrow that lead with its Tuesday line-up.