The ITV1 show, I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! attracted an audience of 8.7 million viewers on its first night.
The contestants have been split into two groups
About 9.5 million people tuned in for the first 15 minutes of the show. Towards the end of the programme, seven million people were still watching.
But the series, which is set in the Australian jungle, did beat viewing figures for opposing programmes on the other terrestrial channels.
Meanwhile former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins has now joined the show.
She replaced former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, who refused to take part in the show after he was flown out to join the other contestants.
Last year's first show, began with an audience of 8.9 million.
Janice Dickinson has already caused some arguments
Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews is currently the favourite to win the show, according to bookmakers Ladbrokes.
This year the group of celebrities has been split up and put into groups. They will go head-to-head in tasks set for them to try to win food.
Viewers have voted for supermodel Janice Dickinson and football pundit Rodney Marsh to face each other in the next Bushtucker Trial.
Former Busted member Matt Willis was crowned King of the Jungle last year, with singer Myleene Klass as runner-up.
Actor and singer Jason Donovan was third.