'Jersey Shore' Breaks MTV Records

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MTV's Jersey Shore third season premiere delivered a record-breaking 8.5 million total viewers last night. The episode is MTV's most-watched series telecast ever.

The third season of Jersey Shore premiered on Thursday, January 6 on Viacom's ( VIA) MTV network. The episode brought 63% more viewers between the ages 12 and 34 than the premiere of the second season, and 36% more than the second season's finale.
'Jersey Shore's' Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

The popular reality series ranked as MTV's most-watched series ever last year. Its ratings more than doubled in 2010, rising 119%.

Its well-performing programming recently helped MTV close out 2010 with its largest year-over-year ratings gain since 1999.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the network saw a 24% increase in ratings from the same period a year earlier, marking its fourth consecutive quarter of growth.

Viacom shares closed up 0.09%, or 4 cents, at $46.75 on Friday.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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