Burn Notice, Jersey Shore Heat Up Thursday Night

The midseason premiere of USA Network’s original spy drama Burn Notice drew 5.4 million total viewers Thursday night, and while the delivery lagged behind the show’s season-three average, the episode did attract a considerably younger viewership.

Per Nielsen ratings data, Burn Notice’s return audience was down 12 percent from its season-to-date average (6.17 million viewers in nine episodes). When compared to the show’s year-ago deliveries, last night’s opener was up 3 percent.

While Burn Notice has always attracted a greater concentration of adults 25-54, the Jan. 21 installment did particularly well among the greener demo, averaging 1.18 million viewers 18-34. That marks an 18 percent increase over the show’s 18-34 draw in the back half of season two.

Among the older demos, Burn Notice was up 4 percent with viewers 18-49 and slipped 3 percent among the 25-54 set.

Burn Notice was the second most-watched series on ad-supported cable in 2009, averaging 7.19 million viewers. The show beat all comers among the two major TV demos, drawing 3.61 million adults 25-54 and 3.27 million viewers 18-49, per Nielsen live-plus-seven-day ratings data.    

Season three is sponsored by Hyundai.

Elsewhere on the cable dial, MTV bid arrivederci to the cast of Jersey Shore, scaring up 4.8 million viewers at 10 p.m. The season finale of the network’s new reality hit outdelivered the previous week’s doubleheader by 26 percent.

Snooki, JWoww and The Situation set a Shore high-water mark with viewers 12-34, notching a 4.8 rating, up 30 percent from last week’s number. Immediately following the finale, Jersey Shore: The Reunion delivered a 4.0 P12-34 rating and in excess of 4 million viewers.

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