The Miranda Hart sitcom, debuting on BBC One for its third series opener, unexpectedly rated higher than any of the channel's Christmas Day output.
Some 9.47m - a 37.8% share - watched Miranda at the 9pm junction, over double the audience of the last new episode, which aired in December 2010. The series continues next Tuesday from 9pm.
Mrs Brown's Boys, which premiered on Christmas Eve with 8.8m, grew to 8.97m (36.9%) after Miranda in the 9.30pm slot.
Earlier in the evening, the terrestrial premiere of Alice in Wonderland enthralled 4.62m (19.9%) between 7pm and 8.30pm, while Match of the Day scored 4.25m (27.7%) later on from 10.25pm.
Benefiting from a Coronation Street lead-in, Christine Bleakley's entertainment special That Dog Can Dance! attracted 3.44m (14.1%) and 291k on +1.
However, the network's audience collapsed at 9pm when the drama adaptation of Ian Rankin's Doors Open could only muster 1.98m (8.9%) and 235k on +1.
Channel 4's Lord of the Rings season continued with The Two Towers, which interested 1.6m (6.8%) from 7pm (+1: 352k).
Sky Sports 1 won the edge over Channel 5 as coverage of Liverpool's 3 -1 defeat to Stoke netted 1.16m (4.7%), while TV's 50 Greatest Magic Tricks entertained 866k (3.6%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional