MTV
James Hibberd
August 05, 2011 AT 07:29 PM EDT

Are you really surprised?

MTV’s Italy edition of Jersey Shore debuted to the show’s largest premiere audience ever — 8.8 million viewers. That’s down just a hair from the reality mega-hit’s previous all-time best of 8.9 million viewers last January.

Shore also easily beat everything on broadcast last night, including CBS’ Big Brother (7.3 million viewers). If the season follows the same pattern as season 3, the next two weeks will see additional gains as more fans catch up. What did you think of the return of Shore? Of Situation telling Ronnie millions of viewers he hooked up with Snooks? Of JWoww’s boobs getting bigger while the rest of her gets smaller? Of the fact that Florence seemingly has better nightclubs than Miami?

Read more:

‘Jersey Shore’ recap: L’Avventura

10 Greatest ‘Jersey Shore’ fights

What’s more horrifying? An MTV reality show? Or its contract?

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