Jon and Kate watched by nearly 10 million, a record audience for a cable reality show

The return of Jon & Kate Plus 8 unsurprisingly benefited from the publicity and tabloid coverage leading up to the premiere, as the episode was watched by more people than have ever watched a cable network reality show. Ever.

Overall, 9.8 million people watched, which is TLC’s biggest audience ever, and is “believed to be the largest ever for a nonscripted entertainment series on cable,” Variety reports. In March, 4.6 million watched the fourth-season finale, which was the show and network’s previous record.

More impressively, the show had more viewers than Jon and Kate’s relationship drama easily beat the average of 6 million viewers who watched ABC’s The Bachelorette 5 relationship drama.

The big question now is if Jon & Kate can sustain this, or if a big part of the audience consisted of people who just wanted to check it out and will never return.

‘Jon & Kate’ returns with a bang [Variety]