VMAs Draws Record Ratings For MTV, ‘Jersey Shore’ Shoots Up 40%

Written by Jessica Smith on Aug. 30, 2011

Sunday’s Video Music Awards became the highest rated telecast ever for the cable network, according to a MTV press release. The live telecast — which saw Lady Gaga open the show dressed as her male alter ego and tributes to Britney Spears and the late Amy Winehouse — drew 12.4 million viewers overall, the highest rating since MTV and Nielsen Media Research first started tracking the ratings for the awards show.

The show drew 8.5 million viewers amongst viewers 12-34, the highest demo MTV has ever drawn. The show was also up 8% compared to the 2010 version of the show amount that demo and up 9% overall in total viewers. The show also became the number one telecast amongst the 12-34 demo and the number one non-sports cable telecast overall all year long.

Not only were the VMAs up big, but a special edition of Jersey Shore before the awards show drew 8 million viewers overall, up a significant 40% compared to the 5.7 million it drew in the same timeslot last year on September 12. The show featured the continuation and aftermath of the Ronnie and The Situation fight. The lead-up to the fight drew 8.47 million on Thursday.