THE return of Will & Grace saw Channel 5 more than double its audience numbers for its slot when the hit US sitcom resumed after an 11-year break.
The first episode of the new series on Friday night was watched by an average of 1.29 million viewers and had an audience share of 7.3%.
The 30-minute broadcast peaked with an audience of 1.41 million viewers.
The broadcaster said that the average overnight figure, which includes those watching on Channel 5 +1, represented an increase of 154.7% week-on-week in the 10pm timeslot.
The award-winning series, which has been praised for its open and light-hearted approach to sexuality and prejudice, sees stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes back together as a TV foursome.
McCormack and Messing play title characters Will Truman and Grace Adler, with Mullally as Karen Walker and Hayes as Jack McFarland.
Creator Max Mutchnick’s idea to bring the show back came after the cast reunited for a one-off topical clip during the US election campaign in 2016.
The returning episode opened in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency and saw both Will and Grace unexpectedly invited to the White House.
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