The cast of Jersey Shore returned to MTV with Jersey Shore: Family Vacation on March 5. According to the record-smashing ratings, they were not the only ones ready for a reunion. Fans returned in droves to check out what the old crew would get up to years after the original series went off the air, and the numbers should make MTV very happy.
More than twice the audience that tuned in for the premiere of the original Jersey Shore in 2009 watched the two-hour, two-episode debut of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. That's not the only news fit for some fist pumping. The season premiere of the reunion was MTV's most-watched new show in six years, and it broke cable records as the highest-rated premiere for an unscripted series since 2012. In Live+Same Day calculations, the first episode scored an impressive 2.88 rating in the 18-34 age group, which is key for MTV. The second episode got a boost of 5%, hitting a 3.03 rating. The premiere event averaged a 2.96 rating, which is higher than the 2.82 average rating for the final season of the original series back in 2012.
Social media also packed its bags for the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. On premiere day, the show-related hashtag "#JSFamilyVacation" trended on Twitter in the United States for seven hours. The numbers are officially huge, and it has to be a positive sign for the cast, as well as for fans. Jersey Shore: Family Vacation has already been renewed for a second season and based on the gigantic ratings of the first season's premiere, there may be more seasons to come.
Most of the original Jersey Shore cast members returned for the revival, which means fans got to see Snooki, JWOWW, The Situation, Pauly D, Ronnie, and Vinny back in action. Deena Nicole Cortese, who replaced original Season 1 cast member Angelina Pivarnick, also returned for Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. One cast member noticeably absent from the party was Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola. Sammi had previously announced she would be skipping the revival.
While Sammi Sweetheart was not physically present, she continued to be a topic of conversation among the cast. The premiere experienced its share of fireworks, including a surprising and very personal revelation from one cast member in particular. Ronnie Ortiz-Magro revealed why he and his on-again-off-again girlfriend broke up for good. As fans remember, Sammi and Ronnie were one of the first couples to emerge from the series.
There is destined to be lots of drama as Jersey Shore: Family Vacation progresses. While there have been a lot of reality shows, both before and since, Jersey Shore is one of few that can be considered iconic, thanks in large part to its wild moments and surprising sound bites. The ratings for the revival's premiere have only further cemented its place in pop culture.