Absence certainly made hearts grow a little fonder on this side of the pond for the return of Luther this week. Season 4 of the Idris Elba drama pulled in 252,000 total viewers for its more than 2-hour special last night on BBC America. That’s up 22% in total viewers from what the Season 3 premiere of the Neil Cross-created series drew on September 3, 2013, a Tuesday on the cusp of the fall season. Among the targeted adults 25-54 demo the 9 – 11:45 PM, Season 4 had 99,000 viewers. That’s a rise of 87% from Season 3 and the highest rated episode of the entire series on BBC America.

More a TV movie than a series in many ways, Thursday’s Luther was the best the series has ever done in the U.S. viewershipwise.  The same could not be said of the show’s Season 4 opener in the UK on December 15.

With 4.9 million viewers and a 22.5 share, the results were mixed for the BBC One effort. Down a mere 2% from the July 2, 2013 Season 3 opener of Luther, the Season 4 debut actually snagged the lowest audience the show has ever had. Having said that, Luther was up 4% in share over its last debut more than 2.5 years ago. Having bested the Season 3 average of 4.4 million and won its BBC One slot, Luther Season 4 returns for its second and final episode on December 22 in the UK.

Next to be seen in Star Trek Beyond, Elba scored both SAG Awards and Golden Globes nominations last week for Luther and his warlord role in Netflix’s Beasts Of No Nation,