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]

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.