OWN’s Tyler Perry soap “The Haves and the Have Nots” kicked off its second season Tuesday with series highs and one of the largest audiences for any telecast in network history. The sophomore-season premiere of the series about the powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their Savannah, Ga., mansion, averaged 2.78 million viewers in the 9 o’clock hour Tuesday — topping the show’s previous high of 2.78 million for its first-season finale last September.

Tuesday’s audience was a whopping 57% higher than that of the show’s series premiere last May (1.82 million).

Among all OWN programming since its January 2011 debut, only a pair of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” interviews — with Bobbi Kristina Houston and Lance Armstrong — have been more popular.

Read it at Variety.