Realhousewivesofatlanta_2ndannualalistawards_290 The ratings momentum generated by “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” has carried south.

The season premiere of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Thursday night had the best debut of any show in the “Real Housewives” franchise, Bravo says. About 2.66 million people tuned into the premiere at 10 p.m. ET Thursday, and another 1.3 million watched an encore at 11 p.m., giving it a cumulative audience of nearly 4 million viewers.

About two-thirds of that total audience fell into the coveted adults 18-49 demographic.

The 2.66 million viewers is more than four times as many people as watched “RH of Atlanta’s” series premiere last year. It was also the most-watched Thursday broadcast in the history of the network.

The premiere’s big gains come on the heels of a big ending for “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” The show’s June 17 season finale brought in almost 3.5 million viewers, and almost 3 million watched a reunion special the following week.

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Posted by:Rick Porter