The third season premiere of "Jersey Shore" scored MTV its highest ratings ever, the network announced Friday.
Thursday's premiere had 8.45 million total viewers. It was the most-watched show this season among viewers 12 to 34 — the network's target demo — not including sporting events, MTV said.
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The 6.5 million viewers in the demo represented a 63 percent increase over the second season premiere.
MTV finished 2010 with 15 percent ratings growth in its target demo, its largest year-over-year increase since 1999, the network said.