Dusting off an old brand has worked for MTV, which desperately needed a hit, and found one in Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
It was the top-rated cable show of the night, and beat NBA basketball; the Masters Golf Tournament; and RuPaul’s Drag Race, which was the second-highest-rated non-sports show of the evening. Deadline reports that it “was the highest rated unscripted cable series launch in 18-34 in six years.”
The 9 p.m. hour—the show’s second episode—had 2.5 million viewers and a 1.92 rating in people 18 to 34, and a 1.49 in 18 to 49, according to Showbuzz Daily’s compilation of Nielsen ratings. For total viewers, that’s about the same number who were still watching at the end of its final season.
That was more than the first episode, which had 2.4 million viewers and a 1.82 among 18-34-year-olds and a 1.42 among people 18 to 49.
To compare, the top-rated broadcast TV show of the night, CBS’ Big Bang Theory, had 12 million viewers, but fewer viewers in the youngest demo: it had a 1.1 among viewers 18 to 34, and a 2.3 among viewers 18 to 49.
These are just Thursday night ratings. When MTV renewed Floribama Shore earlier this year, a press release said it was “averaging a 1.43” in 18-34—over three days of DVR viewing, and Jersey Shore had more than that in its live plus same day ratings.
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation was already renewed for a second season back in February, so it will most definitely be back. Will all these viewers return next week? Will they fade away like last time? Or will there be more?