CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While reactions to MTV's reality show "Buckwild" have been mostly negative among West Virginians, its debut ratings surpassed the 2009 premiere of the channel's popular "Jersey Shore."
"Buckwild" averaged 2.5 million total viewers during its first two episodes Thursday night, according to Nielsen data reported by Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
The first episode of the reality show, which follows young adults from Sissonville, among other places around the state, drew 2.4 million viewers at 10 p.m. and 2.6 million at 10:30 p.m., according to the magazine's website.
MTV has re-aired the show about 30 times since its premiere, according to TV Guide's website.
The "Jersey Shore," MTV's most watched show, premiered in 2009 with 2.4 million viewers. The series finale of the sixth season of the show last month raked in 3.1 million viewers, according to Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
Twitter users discussed the show at about 1,800 tweets per minute Thursday night, according to the Archivist, an Internet analytics company. Some of the most popular phrases mentioned, called hashtags, were: "#countryboy; "#NewFavShow"; "#ignorant"; "#stupid"; and "#MostAddictingShow."
More than 6 million tweets were sent out during and immediately after the show's premiere, according to the data. About 14 million people were discussing the fiscal cliff during the same time period.
"Buckwild," which now fills the former "Jersey Shore" timeslot at 10 p.m. Thursdays, was shrouded in controversy before it even aired over the unfavorable images of West Virginia portrayed through the show's country shenanigans.
Politicians and tourism officials have worried the show would feature negative portrayals and stereotypes of West Virginians.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., sent a letter to the president of MTV last month, asking that the show be cancelled.
Some of the show's nine cast members used their twitter accounts to respond to praise and criticism of the show.
"I wonder how many of our haters have a billboard in Times Square," cast member Katie Saria tweeted Saturday.
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