The pivotal premiere pulled in a colossal average of 23.47 million viewers for ABC in the 9pm hour, setting a series record and beating its nearest rival, NBC's premiere of political drama E-Ring (9.11 million), by around 14 million viewers.
The show was preceded by a first season retrospective, Destination: Lost, with 15.27 million and first place in the slot. It managed to top the premiere of Martha Stewart's Apprentice spinoff, which took just 7.06 million for NBC.
Indeed, it was ABC's night all round, with new sci-fi drama Invasion scooping a clear win in the 10pm hour with 16.43 million.
UPN claimed a victory, meanwhile, after recording the best-ever premiere ratings with the fifth cycle of America's Next Top Model. The show scored 4.8 million across primetime, placing UPN fourth amongst the nets overall.