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MTV's new controversial reality series, Buckwild, about a group of friends in West Virginia premiered on Thursday delivering 2.49 million viewers during its two half-hour episodes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, even though Buckwild's numbers didn't reach the highs of Jersey Shore that many will use as a comparison, the premiere did outperform Jersey Shore's series premiere in 2009 that reached 1.375 million viewers. It also delivered more viewers than the Jersey Shore spinoff Snooki & JWoww which brought in 2.4 million. But Buckwild didn't beat The Pauly D Project that brought in 2.9 million viewers.
The reality series will need to draw in more viewers for its upcoming episodes if it wants to come close to how well Jersey Shore did for MTV when Jersey Shore's audience tripled to 4.8 million viewers by the end of its first season and hit 9 million two years later.
Buckwild also hasn't been free of criticism, especially from the critics themselves.
"Buckwild is far worse than the sum of the others' parts. Not only is it another tired portrayal of Southern stereotypes, but it's also inexcusably poorly executed," The Hollywood Reporter TV critic Allison Keene wrote about the Jersey Shore and Honey Boo Boo hybrid.
But Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich wrote in his review that he's "intrigued" to see how the show moves forward and said, "I would roughly describe the series premiere of Buckwild as a 'post-apocalyptic dry-hump anarchist mud-orgy,' and I mean that as a huge compliment."
"It was sort of like Jackass, if Jackass were what our Founding Fathers intended America to look like, and I also mean that as a huge compliment," Franich continued.
Buckwild airs in the Thursday 10 p.m. time slot on MTV recently vacated by Jersey Shore that went off the air in December.