Jersey Shore is now in its fourth season and it is still smashing records. The season premiere of hit controversial, hit reality series drew 8.79 million viewers on MTV Thursday with a 4.3 rating amongst adults 18-49 — a season premiere record for the series. That smashed everything in its path and was the highest rated show both on cable and broadcast television. Even the repeat immediately following the original (3.91 million, 1.8 demo) was able to beat everything on cable last night.
However, while the numbers are without a doubt blockbuster, the 8.79 million viewers was down a tad from the 8.9 million viewers that it drew on January 20, 2011, weeks after the season 3 premiere. With that said, Jersey Shore drew the biggest audience ever for an MTV season premiere last night, increasing 4% from last year’s premiere, and became the third highest most-watch series telecast ever on MTV — behind two Shore episodes from season 3 last year.
Nonetheless, Jersey Shore was able to beat shows such as CBS’ Big Brother in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic by 35%, ABC’s Wipeout by 53%, and FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance by 60%. The young-skewing show was also able to decimate summer powerhouses on cable like Burn Notice — which still drew a strong 5.2 million viewers, but has a much older audience than Shore — by 67% in the demo.