The MTV reality series Buckwild drew in nearly 2.5 million viewers when it debuted on the network last night (January 4).
The program, which has been described by some as the Jersey Shore of Appalachia, follows the adventures of several young adults as they live life and party hard in a small West Virginia town. According to Deadline, the show enjoyed a 1.4 rating with two back-to-back episodes in the 10 pm time slot.
The website also reports that Buckwild managed to bring in nearly one million more viewers than its New Jersey counterpart when it hit the small screen back in 2009.
The fair amount of controversy the reality series generated prior to its MTV debut likely helped push the show’s ratings over the top. However, the real test will arrive next week when Buckwild returns to its regular time slot. MTV executives are no doubt hoping those viewers will return for another go-around.
Digital Spy reports that West Virigina Senator Joe Manchin III had hoped the network would pull the plug on the program. Manchin felt the show was essentially “making money off of the poor decisions of our youth.” The same criticisms were aimed at Jersey Shore when it premiered three years ago.
According to the Washington Post, Manchin sent a letter to MTV roughly a month before Buckwild enjoyed its successful debut.
The communication with the network read:
“As a proud West Virginian, I am writing to formally request that you put a stop the travesty called ‘Buckwild.’ Instead of showcasing the beauty of our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into shameful behavior, and now you are profiting from it. That is just wrong. This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia.”
Did you catch Buckwild when it debuted on MTV? Do you think the show is as controversial as others have made it out to be?