‘Real Housewives': Really Big Ratings (Again)

The original Orange County gang returns to Bravo and promptly breaks another record.

Last Updated: November 8, 2009 @ 8:26 PM

Guess blondes do have more fun. Or, at the very least, draw big ratings.

The fifth cycle of "Real Housewives of Orange County" returned Thursday to record Nielsen numbers, attracting 2.58 million viewers (1.98 million of whom were under 50). That’s the best perfomance ever for "OC," as well as the biggest premiere number for any installment of the franchise (sorry, Hotlanta, New York and New Jersey).

Compared to the cycle four premiere, "OC" was up 44 percent in viewers and 28 percent in adults 18-49. "OC" got a big boost from its lead-in: part two of the "Hotlanta" reunion special, which drew 2.4 million Bravo junkies.

Bravo wants you to know that next week, a new blonde joins the sisterhood. If you care anything at all about "OC," you probably already knew that. Nonetheless, check out the preview clip below.