'Jon & Kate Plus 8' Ratings Nosedive. Duh. - Featured

The return of "Jon & Kate plus 8" to TLC Monday didn't draw near the audience of the show's breakup episode in June -- an absolutely unsurprising development in the up-and-down ratings ride the show has taken this season.

About 4.2 million people tuned into Monday's back-to-back episodes, the first new episode in six weeks and the first since Jon and Kate Gosselin announced they were divorcing in late June. That will put the show in the upper echelon of the cable ratings for the week, but it's a steep drop from the series-high 10.6 million people who watched the breakup episode on June 22.

The numbers for Monday's shows, however, are an improvement over what the series was pulling in just before the June 22 episode. After a huge opening (9.8 million viewers) in May, "Jon and Kate" took a nosedive in subsequent weeks. By mid-June it had tumbled to under 3 million viewers.

Monday's shows featured the debut of the couple's new separate interview chairs (replacing the now-departed confessional couch) and focused on a pre-divorce filing remodel of the couple's kitchen and Kate attempting set up a backyard campout for the kids.

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Aug 20, 2009 2:49AM EDT

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