Packed to the Rafters has made a triumphant return to television with more than 1.9 million people tuning in for the first episode of the show's new season.

The Seven family drama was the most watched program on television on Tuesday night, ahead of MasterChef Australia which drew in 1.83 million viewers.

The hit show was expected to make a big return after an average audience of 2.047 million tuned in to watch the season finale in November last year.

On Tuesday Packed to the Rafters was up against a repeat of Ten's NCIS which had an average audience of 1.2 million, Nine's Top Gear and ABC's Greatest Cities of the World, in the 8.30pm timeslot.

Ten's Modern Family, at 8pm, also rated well with an average audience of 1.6 million.

AAP