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Jersey Shore Is the Most-Watched Prime-Time Cable Series of the Year

Fist pumps still rule! Jersey Shore was the year's most-watched prime-time series on basic cable.

Douglas J Rowe

Fist pumps still rule! Jersey Shorewas the year's most-watched prime-time series on basic cable. Capisce?

Check out photos of Jersey Shore

Season 4 of the MTV reality series starring Snooki, The Situation and their paisans averaged 9.29 million viewers in 2011, according to year-end Nielsen Co. data. (The show returns Thursday, Jan. 5 at 10/9c.) Second place: Season 2 of AMC's The Walking Dead, with 8.87 million. The shows also ranked No. 1 and 2 among the industry-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

Top TV moments of 2011

Third in viewership was TNT's Rizzoli & Isles with 8.14 million, followed closely by its lead-in The Closer, which enticed an average of 8.13 million. History's Pawn Stars came in fifth, scrounging up 7.02 million viewers.

The best shows of 2011

Rounding out the top 10: Falling Skies(6.91 million),Royal Pains(6.56 million),Suits(6.31 million),Burn Notice(6.01 million) andAmerican Pickers(5.78 million).

The top social-TV moments of 2011

In the 18-to-49 demo, there was little overlap, as Nos. 3 through 10 were Sons of Anarchy, Pawn Stars,The Game,Teen Mom 2,Teen Mom, Tosh.0, Falling Skies and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.