Thursday's season six premiere was watched by 1.89m and a 7.8% share at 8pm, before a further 420,000 watched E4 +1's catchup broadcast an hour later.
The American sitcom's ratings represent E4's most-watched single broadcast since an episode of Glee in June 2011.
The Big Bang Theory's 100th episode gave E4 the most successful night in its history in April this year.
Elsewhere yesterday, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! rallied to 8.58m (34.7%) between 8.30pm and 10pm, adding 520k on ITV1 +1.
BBC Two's Great Continental Railway Journeys (2.6m/10.6%) overtook BBC One's axed spy drama Hunted, whose penultimate episode earned just 2.55m (10.4%).
Young Apprentice maintained a respectable audience of 3.19m (12.9%) for BBC One in the 8pm hour, while 2.69m (10.9%) watched MasterChef: The Professionals.
Meanwhile, Kirsty's Vintage Home secured 1.26m (5.1%) for Channel 4 (+1: 230k), and The Big Dig had 1.34m (5.4%) on Channel 5 (+1: 110k).
Overall, ITV1 seized primetime control off BBC One with 29.7% (+1: 1.2%) versus 15.2%. BBC Two commanded third place with 8.6%, way ahead of Channel 4's 3.7% (+1: 0.6%) and Channel 5's 3.6% (+1: 0.4%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional