‘Jersey’ premieres to 8.8 million viewers

Season four premiere is third-most watched series telecast in MTV history

Phineas and Ferb have joined Snooki and Vinny in racking up some of cable’s biggest numbers of summer.

The season-four premiere of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” drew a series record 8.8 million viewers Thursday, and one night later, Disney Channel telepic “Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension” bagged a big 7.6 million in its premiere, making it cable’s most-watched film in 2011, according to Nielsen.

The movie was also cable’s No. 1 scripted telecast in any format among kids 6-11 and 9-14 — and was highest in those demos for an animated program — since Nickelodeon’s ”Fairly OddBaby” in February 2008.

“Across the 2nd Dimension” also attracted enough parents to log a 1.3 national rating among adults 18-49 (equating to about 1.7 million viewers) to defeat the Big Four broadcasters from 8-9:30.

Disney Channel is showing two more encores of the pic before it premieres Saturday on Disney XD and Aug. 20 on ABC.

As for “Jersey Shore,” the 8.8 million reps a 4% increase over the 8.5 million that watched the third-season premiere in January. Thursday’s airing was the third-most watched series telecast in MTV history, behind two other third-season “Jersey” episodes.

In the 12-34 demo, the episode drew a 6.9 rating — with the next closest program on Thursday, CBS’ “Big Brother,” earning a 2.0. Its 18-49 rating of 4.3 is a tick above last year’s premiere score and was easily the No. 1 program on Thursday (“Big Brother” did a 2.8).

This season’s edition of the megahit reality series was shot in Italy and the cabler has spinoff plans already underway. Personalities Snooki, JWoww and Pauly D. will all be seen in new programming in 2012.

Also, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has signed a development deal with MTV and will reportedly be seen in a pilot later this year.

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