'Downton Abbey' Breaks U.K. Viewership Record THR

"Downton Abbey" returned to British airwaves with its fourth season Sunday night, drawing a record number of viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The fourth-season premiere drew an average of 9.5 million viewers, marking the historical drama's best-ever season debut, the piece notes.

The third-season premiere drew 9 million viewers, with fans tuning in to watch Shirley MacLaine's character encounter Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess.

The show's fourth season will debut in the U.S. in January.