'Downton Abbey' Series 3 premiere ratings solid, down slightly from Series 2 premiere

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sybil-branson-downton-abbey-season-3-premiere.jpg "Downton Abbey" returned to the British airwaves Sunday (Sept. 16) to solid ratings. ITV has announced the premiere episode earned 8.64 million viewers during its initial broadcast and added another 380,000 viewers during the delayed broadcast on ITV1+1, giving the period drama just over 9 million viewers total.

Those would be good numbers in the U.S., but considering the smaller U.K. audience, those numbers are big. The share of households was 34.6%, which means over a third of the television viewing audience was tuned in to "Downton."

The premiere is down just slightly from the Series 2 premiere a year ago, which earned about 200,000 more viewers. If you didn't watch, we've got the scoop here in case you want to find out what happened.

Did you watch the Series 3 premiere? What did you think?
Photo/Video credit: ITV