The first episode of the returning Line of Duty was the most-watched show of 2019 so far, according to overnight figures.
The first instalment of series five was watched by 7.8 million viewers. That also made it the most-watched episode in the history of the police drama.
In comparison, series four’s opener was seen live by 5.4 million, with the finale watched by 7.5 million.
The series five premiere went up against Victoria on ITV, with the period drama attracting 3.1 million.
Line of Duty’s return follows the success of writer Jed Mercurio’s other hit show, Bodyguard, the opening episode of which was seen live by 6.6 million last year. Its finale drew a record-breaking 10.4 million viewers, according to overnight ratings.
Overnight ratings measure live TV viewing and don’t include catch-up.
Line of Duty’s series five opener, which was described by its star Martin Compston as “the scariest yet”, received largely glowing reviews.
The Times critic Carol Midgley gave it four stars and wrote: “[Jed] Mercurio knows how to begin an episode and is a master at ending one, last night giving us two final shocks like successive thwacks to the head.
“It is a dependable, wily machine, superior in my view to Mercurio’s other baby, Bodyguard.”