Jersey Shore cast
The 'Jersey Shore' cast features, clockwise from left: Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino, Vinny Guadagnino, Pauly 'DJ Pauly D' Delvecchio, Jenni 'J-Woww' Farley, Angelina 'Jolie' Pivarnick, Ronnie Magro, Sammi 'Sweetheart' Giancola and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi.

It's a rainy, lazy Sunday. And if opening day for professional football doesn't do it for ya, head on over to MTV, where the network is in the middle of an all-day marathon of "Jersey Shore." It leads into an all-new episode at 7 p.m., preceding the MTV Video Music Awards.

When I first heard about that, I scratched my head: Why wouldn't you use the VMAs to goose the audience for "Jersey Shore" by airing the new episode after the awards.

That's what they do with the Super Bowl. Of course, then it hit me: Maybe I have the equation backwards. Maybe MTV needs to goose its VMA ratings? What better way to do that then by airing an episode of its hottest series in well... quite some time.

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 Last week, ran a story about the top 25 basic cable series of summer. Topping the list was TNT freshman sensation "Rizzoli & Isles," averaging 8.44 million viewers per week. It was followed by the likes of "The Closer," "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains." All as you'd expect.

Then you get to No.7.

If anyone predicted that's where "Jersey Shore" would land, averaging 6.07 million viewers -- better than "White Collar," "Leverage" and "Psych," among others -- they're lying. The show has propelled MTV to heights it hasn't seen in some time. That's why we'll get a reunion special at the end of the season. And a behind the scenes special, too.

And now, this. Batting leadoff in advance of the VMAs. The "Jersey Shore" juggernaut keeps chugging along. Can anything stop it?

Come back later tonight for Part I of our episode recap, which will continue tomorrow.

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