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‘Jersey Shore’ Premiere Highest Rated For MTV

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An undated file photo released by MTV, shows the cast of "Jersey Shore," from left, Vinny Guadagnino, Angelina Pivarnick, Paul " DJ Pauly D" Delvecchio, Jenni "JWOWW" Farley, Ronnie Magro, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi,  Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola. (AP Photo/MTV, FILE)

An undated file photo released by MTV, shows the cast of “Jersey Shore,” from left, Vinny Guadagnino, Angelina Pivarnick, Paul ” DJ Pauly D” Delvecchio, Jenni “JWOWW” Farley, Ronnie Magro, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola. (AP Photo/MTV, FILE)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 8 million viewers watched Snooki and company return to “Jersey Shore.”

The third season premiere of the MTV reality TV series was the most watched series telecast in the cable network’s history, MTV announced Friday. The network said 8.45 million total viewers tuned in to the show, which chronicles the carryings-on of a group of hard-partying, 20- and 30-somethings at a beach house on the Seaside Heights, N.J., boardwalk.

The second season was set in Miami.

MTV announced last month that it signed a deal with Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio to star in his own spin-off series.

An actor with ties to another prominent New Jersey series, James Gandolfini of “The Sopranos,” flashed a look of distaste when he was asked at a news conference in Pasadena whether he watched “Jersey Shore.”

“No, no, no, no,” Gandolfini said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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