‘Jersey Shore’ premiere draws 7.6 million

Reality skein still popular with 12-34 demo

Fans welcomed Snooki and Co. back to the Garden State with open arms.

Season five premiere of MTV’s megahit reality series ”Jersey Shore” drew 7.6 million viewers Thursday night. That was up by about a million from the season four finale but down about 1 million from last season’s premiere.

The ”Jersey Shore” gang ventured to Italy last season and there was some concern the show was losing traction with its 12-34 demo, but a return to Seaside Heights, N.J., brought back some fans who might have turned away.

Series is exec produced by SallyAnn Salsano and her 495 Prods. shingle. Jacquelyn French exec produces for MTV.