The return of "Glee" on Fox was watched by 13.6 million viewers Tuesday night, the best ratings ever for the series, which tallied 9.6 million viewers during its initial debut after "American Idol" in May 2009.

According to preliminary numbers from the Nielsen Company, 14.4 million people watched the first half hour of "Glee"; the number dropped to 12.8 million in the second half hour. During the run of the show's first half season from September - December 2009, it averaged 7.9 million viewers.

The show was assisted by its "American Idol" lead-in; the final half hour of "Idol" was watched by 22.5 million viewers. According to, the ratings for "Glee" are the highest for any new series this season except for the post-Super Bowl debut of "Undercover Boss."