June 26, 2013 4:53pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Catfish' Sees Steady Return, Minus Manti Te'o Buzz
The last time MTV aired an original episode of Catfish, the series was riding a wave of new-found cultural relevance -- courtesy of the Manti Te'o scandal.
And while the docu-series had no such free publicity when it returned to the cable network on Tuesday night, its audience remained intact. The sophomore opener of Catfish: The TV Show averaged 2.5 million viewers during its 10 p.m. premiere. It also topped the day's cable offerings with a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, and, in the network's coveted persons 12-34 demographic, its 2.2 rating gave it the best showing of the day across cable.
Catfish, which saw an uptick in ratings during January and February's media dialogue about people romancing online with fake personas, was improved from its last original in February. (The season finale pulled 2.3 million viewers and the reunion special netted just 1.8 million.)
Compared to its series premiere last November, it was down by small measures -- though that episode (2.7 million viewers, 2.6 12-34 rating) had the benefit of a Teen Mom 2 lead-in. Last night's premiere aired after a block of repeats.
The first season of Catfish, which averaged a 2.3 rating among viewers 12-34, also enjoyed a significant DVR bump, rising 29 percent in the demo after Live+Three Day returns.