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Beyond Scared Straight’s screaming inmates draw a record number of viewers

A&E and Arnold Shapiro’s new reality series Beyond Scared Straight, which follows kids kids got in trouble as they go prison to get the shit scared out of them by actual inmates, became the network’s most-watched new series ever. It’s based on the Oscar-winning 1973 documentary.

An average of 3.7 million people tuned in on Thursday, including 2.2 million ages 18 to 49, “making it the most-watched original series launch in the network’s history among all key demos,” A&E said in a press release. By comparison, Hoarders season finale was watched by 3 million viewers on Monday.

The debut repeats Saturday at 8 p.m. ET if you missed it. Here’s a preview:

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.