Britain's Got Talent scored its highest rating launch episode ever with 11.1 million viewers, ITV said.
The previous highest audience for a BGT launch show was in 2010, when the opening episode attracted 10.6 million viewers.
The audience to last night's series opener peaked at 12.3 million viewers and boasted a 47% share.
Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, said: "The fantastic overnight figures show that Britain's Got Talent is event television, and we're delighted that so many viewers tuned to last night's launch episode, on what was a strong night for ITV."
Britain's Got Talent returned to ITV for it's eight series tonight with an opening episode that was full of surprises.
Acts from across the globe compete in tonight's new series, but Simon Cowell says we'll see once more that Britain really does have talent.