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'Jersey Shore' Season 5 to kick off in January

November 2, 2011 | 12:36 pm

Jersey Shore to premiere on MTV Jan. 5
Back in the USA! Season 5 of MTV's "Jersey Shore" will premiere Jan. 5.

After their European getaway to Italia — which included a head hitting a wall and nether regions being flashed — America's nutty housemates are back in their natural habitat, Seaside Heights, N.J., for the show's fifth season, which will air Thursday nights. That means we can all breathe a little easier knowing GTL has been reinstated after a wonky run in Florence — Pauly was getting a little pale, wasn't he?

But has the show's glow also worn off? The recent Season 4 finale delivered 6.6 million viewers, down 13% from Season 3′s finale. A surprising drop considering the season launched higher than ever with 8.8 million viewers. But maybe viewers will find comfort with the roomies back in their home base?

Here's a sneak peek:



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— Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: The cast members of MTV's "Jersey Shore" at their television home in Seaside Heights, N.J. Credit: Mel Evans / Associated Press