MTV’s Jersey Shore was one of the most popular reality shows of all time, but there were some big question marks surrounding the show’s attempted return after five years given that the initial show was centered on youthful extravagances — something that folks (especially parents) in their late 20s and 30s are a little less able to indulge. Those question marks were fist pumped into oblivion Thursday night as both hours of the Jersey Shore Family Vacation premiere BLEW UP the ratings!
The series picked up right where it left off with an average of 2.5 million viewers between the two hours, which is a little lower than the show’s final season average of 2.98 million an episode in 2012. But, cable ratings are a completely different ball game these days given the amount of options people have like streaming services, network apps, and the abundance of DVRs. For comparison, the most recent episode of Teen Mom OG couldn’t even muster one million viewers.
In addition to the great raw numbers, the show also hit a homerun in the all-important 18-49 demographic with an average 1.46 rating. That was more than double the second highest original cable program of the night, which was an NBA game on TNT with a .61 18-49 rating.
Deadline did some math magic and devised a formula that resulted in Jersey Shore Family Vacation being the highest rated unscripted cable series launch in six years! (That was in the network’s target demographic of viewers aged 18-34, which the show averaged a 2.96 rating in for the two episodes.) More from Deadline:
The 2.96 demo premiere rating edged Jersey Shore‘s final season’s average 2.82 in 2012 and more than doubled the rating of the original Jersey Shore debut in 2009 (1.38). The December 2012 series finale of Jersey Shore drew 3.1 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in 12-34, the demographic MTV was focusing on and reporting back then. Jersey Shore Family Vacation also was way up from the November debut of follow-up series, Floribama Shore, 846,000 total viewers (L+SD), 0.94 rating in 18-34.
A HUGE congratulations to the cast of Jersey Shore Family Vacation! (Sans Sammi Sweetheart of course.) It will be interesting to see how the ratings go in week two, but given that the viewership actually increased in the second hour of the premiere, I believe there is a lot of reason to be optimistic that the numbers will stay relatively steady with perhaps a slight decline — which is normal for hugely hyped franchise returns.
On a side note, we are clearly in the golden age of the television reboots! Roseanne just smashed ratings records after it’s network return last week, and streaming service Netflix has had a string of successful relaunches that include One Day At A Time, Queer Eye, Fuller House, and more. I think the next two years will see television programming become much like motion pictures in that it will be more than 50% reboots (or adaptations) of familiar franchises and super hero shows. So what show (scripted or reality) would you like to see return to the small screen?