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]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.