Around 7.6 million viewers (a 7.2 rating in 18-34 demographic) tuned in the premiere of "Jersey Shore" season 5 on Thursday, January 5. Although the number is still big for an MTV show, it is actually down 14% from the premiere of season 4 last summer.
By comparison, the previous season opened in August 2011 with 8.8 million total viewers and an 8.2 rating in the 18-34 demo. It also marked the network's most-watched season premiere of all time.
Though it is the first time the show's premiere suffers a rating decline, the slip is not so surprising considering the drop of last season finale. The fourth season ender which aired in October drew 6.6 million viewers, or dropping 13% from the season 3 finale.