James Hibberd
March 25, 2011 AT 11:27 PM EDT

The third season finale of MTV’s Jersey Shore helped fuel the return of The Hard Times of RJ Berger to new heights.

The second season debut of Berger has been promoted pretty relentlessly on the network — and it looks like the support paid off. The premiere drew 3.1 million viewers. Now, that’s still down quite a ways from Jersey Shore, but MTV doesn’t expect its efforts in the scripted drama genre to match its reality kingpin. Lead-in

Shore had its highest-rated finale yet, delivering 7.6 million viewers (though that can’t match the show’s crazy 8.8 million peak back in January). For those who want to catch up on Berger, MTV is running a marathon of season 1 starting tonight, and the show will go into its regular Monday night time slot next week. (MTV still hopes to employ some Jersey magic for the second episode — Vinny Guadagnino is doing a guest appearance on the show.)

Read more:

‘Jersey Shore’ season finale recap: The Missing Piece

‘Jersey Shore’: Scoop on the season 3 finale and the cast’s trip to Italy

MTV renews ‘The Hard Times of RJ Berger’ for second season: Is Justin Bieber responsible?

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