surf to No. 1
The network's presidentBy Tim Ryan
says the episodes drew far
more viewers than expected
The final episode of "Real World Hawaii" was the highest-rated finale and most-watched show in the eight-year history of the program.
Record numbers of MTV viewers tuned in Tuesday night to watch the season finale of the channel's popular docu-drama, topping off the most successful season ever for "The Real World."
The hourlong finale scored a 5.68 household rating share, representing 4.1 million households. This rating represents an 81 percent increase over last season's finale, according to MTV officials.
Among MTV's target audience of 12- to 34-year-olds, the finale was No. 1 in its time slot -- over ABC, CBS and NBC -- earning a 6.79 rating, representing about 4.2 million people in this demographic.
This season the show averaged a 3.59 household rating (representing 3.3 million viewers) each week, a 160 percent increase from the series debut in 1992, and 39 percent increase over last season.
The rising popularity of the show has exceeded even MTV's wildest expectations, said Judy McGrath, president of MTV.
"The Real World" will film its ninth season in New Orleans.
For three days prior to the season finale, MTV presented the first-ever "Real World Garage Sale," in which fans logged onto mtv.com to bid on more than 150 items from the Hawaii house, including the cast members' dishes, alarm clocks, books and artwork. Proceeds were donated to RADD (Recording Artists, Actors, and Athletes Against Drunk Driving).
The auction collected about $130,000, with the highest confirmed bid $22,002 for the pool table. Bids included $14,001 for surfboard artwork from the recreation room, $999 for Kaia's comforter and $400 for the coffee pot