The third season premiere of Jersey Shore on Thursday night delivered MTV’s highest rated series telecast ever notching 8.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
The premiere delivered more young viewers (12-34) than any broadcast or cable show this season (excluding sports).
It also bested its season two premiere, which attracted 5.1 million viewers, by 63%.
Jersey Shore has been a game-changer for MTV, which was struggling to rebrand itself after earlier success with unscripted series including Laguna Beach and The Hills.
The network has already announced one spin-off with Pauly D. But more are surely in the offing. Production on the fourth season, which is expected to return to Miami (season three is back in Seaside Heights) has yet to commence as MTV continues to negotiate with the cast.
Chris Linn, executive VP of MTV Production, would not “confirm or deny” that Jersey Shore would be back in Miami. He also said the network is discussing ways to keep the franchise fresh in season four.
“We’re talking about creative ideas for next season,” he said. “We want to be very careful that we don’t retread old territory.”
Linn also brushed off the notion that too many cast spin-offs could damage the Jersey Shore brand.
“Any spin-off idea would feel very different,” he said. “Jersey Shore is a very specific construct. The spin-offs would definitely feel different. So I don’t think there’s any danger of diluting the franchise.”