js4 14 'Jersey Shore' season 4 debut snags record ratings with 8.8 million viewersIf the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is serious about wanting to draw a larger audience to the 2012 Oscar broadcast, producer Brett Ratner might consider hiring Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi as the host or moving the ceremony to Seaside Heights, N.J.

Thursday’s (Aug. 4) season 4 premiere snagged 8.8 million viewers, the best season-premiere performance ever for an MTV series, the network says. It’s not, however, the most-watched “Jersey Shore” ever — a couple episodes from last season brought in more viewers.

It’s also worth noting that the “Jersey Shore” kids totally crushed network television, where the biggest thing going was CBS’ “Big Brother” with 7.3 million viewers.

Season 4 of the MTV hit finds Snooki, The Situation and the rest of the gang relocated to Florence, Italy. For a full recap of Thursday’s premiere episode, click right here.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson