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Record ratings for MTV's VMA show

August 29, 2011 |  3:53 pm

Bigger than "Jersey Shore" -- that's how big Sunday's record-breaking Video Music Awards on MTV was.

The 2011 VMAs -- featuring performances by Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Lil Wayne, not to mention a strange cross-dressing act kept up all night from Lady Gaga -- delivered 12.4 million total viewers, making it MTV's most-watched telecast ever, according to the Nielsen Co. The audience was up 9% compared with last year's VMAs.

In MTV's core demographic of viewers ages 12 to 34, the show averaged 8.5 million, also a record for the network.

The VMAs attracted extra attention this year for going without a host. Last year Chelsea Handler earned mixed reviews for her hosting work.

Trackers, what did you think of the VMAs?


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Photo: Lady Gaga, dressed as her male alter ego Jo Calderone, speaks with reporters in the press room at the VMAs Sunday night. Credit: Frederic J. Brown / Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.