Record ratings for MTV’s VMA show

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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.


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-- Scott Collins (