Three-and-a-half million viewers tuned in to see the first episode of Ricky Gervais's returning sitcom Extras.
Gervais (centre) reprises his role as struggling actor Andy Millman
However, figures were down on the 4.8 million who saw the first episode of series one, which eventually drew an average of 3.9 million during its run.
Featuring guest appearances by Orlando Bloom and Keith Chegwin, the programme saw Gervais's character Andy Millman battle to launch a generic BBC sitcom.
David Bowie and Sir Ian McKellen are to appear in forthcoming instalments.
Extras fared better than Channel 4's new drama Low Winter Sun, which drew 1.4 million in the same 2100 BST slot.
But it was beaten by both BBC One's Aberfan: The Untold Story documentary and Bad Girls on ITV1, which drew audiences of 4.1 million and 4.7 million respectively.