Is the public -- gasp! -- growing weary of Snooki, the Situation and the rest of the orange-hued Jersey Shore gang?

The numbers are in for Thursday's Season 5 premiere of MTV's hit reality show, and while they're nothing to sneeze at, they're nothing to fist-pump about, either -- at least compared to the Season 4 premiere.

Thursday's show at 10 p.m. drew in 7.6 million total viewers, with a 7.2 rating in the show's target persons 18-34 demographic. By comparison, Season 4 kicked off in August with 8.8 million total viewers and an 8.2 rating in the target demo.

Granted, the Season 4 premiere numbers were a record-shattering ratings bonanza for the network, with the public eager to see how the Shore crew would fare in Italy. This season sees Snooki and her cohorts returning to Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

The good news for Shore? Thursday night's numbers were a decided improvement on the Season 4 finale in October -- which drew 6.6 million total viewers and a 6.36 in the target demo -- and edged out last season's average of 7.3 million total viewers.