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MTV’s ‘Buckwild’ Premiere Beats ‘Jersey Shore’ Debut

Its been called “The Jersey Shore Of Appalachia”, but MTV’s Buckwild last night bested its network time slot predecessor. The 10 PM debut of the reality series, about a group of thrill-seeking young adults in small-town West Virginia, pulled in an audience of 2.49 million viewers and a 1.4 rating over its back-to-back episodes Thursday night. That’s more than 1 million more viewers than the 1.375 million who watched the premiere of Jersey Shore in 2009. Of course, Jersey Shore went on to get record ratings for MTV; at one point, in its third season, Jersey Shore had an audience of 9 million as Snooki, Pauly D and the other housemates became national topics of conversation — even attracting kind words from GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Jersey Shore wrapped up its six-season run December 20 with soft ratings.

Last month, even before it debuted, Buckwild attracted some of the controversy common to Jersey Shore when Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WVa) called on MTV to “put a stop to the travesty called Buckwild.” He said MTV president Stephen Friedman and the networkpreyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying shameful behavior — and now you are profiting from it. That is just wrong.”