Idris Elba returned as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther to BBC America on Tuesday and drew 206,000 viewers. That’s up from the 168,000 that Luther‘s Season 2 debut pulled in on September 28, 2011, according to Nielsen. The best Tuesday drama debut in the cable network’s 15-year history, the Season 3 U.S. premiere of the show was also just slightly ahead of the 205,000 viewers that Season 2 of Luther pulled in when Live+7 was added. This week’s debut received 90,000 viewers among the adults 25-54 demo. Of course, those numbers are all well below what the Emmy-nominated series garnered in the UK earlier this year; the third cycle of the BBC America co-produced crime drama premiered on July 2 on BBC One to 5 million viewers. While that number is huge compared to the U.S. viewership, it was actually the lowest UK debut in the series’ history. With the Golden Globe winner and Pacific Rim star back as Luther, BBC America will be running the four hourlong episodes of Season 3 on four consecutive nights from Tuesday through Friday. Elba signed with WME in late June. The actor will be seen soon again on the big screen in Thor 2: The Dark World, which Marvel and Disney release on November 8 and as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom, which is being released The Weinstein Company on November 29.

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