The kids of "Jersey Shore" took it on their tanned chins Thursday, with a Season 5 premiere that slipped 14% compared with the previous season premiere back in August, which took the cast of Jersey boys and girls on a highly publicized vacation to Italy.
For their homecoming Thursday, a total of 7.6 million viewers showed up, according to Nielsen.
The ratings decline was somewhat surprising for Snooki and her friends, who live by the motto "GTL" ("Gym. Tan. Laundry."). Television usage overall is higher this time of year than it is in August, so the drop was even worse than it looked.
Is it possible that Snooki fatigue is setting in?
Well, not so fast. Thursday's numbers still make "Jersey Shore" one of the top programs on cable. In fact, it delivered the best performance among viewers aged 12 to 34 since the fall premiere of "Two and a Half Men" with Ashton Kutcher.
So it looks like Snooki's fake tan will be with us for a while longer.
-- Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Snooki -- a.k.a. Nicole Polizzi -- in Las Vegas last month. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.