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Among other MTV winners is “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” a coming-of-age comedy that is a rare foray for MTV into scripted programming. Audiences also have been drawn to “The Buried Life,” in which four people chase “100 things to do before you die” while making other people’s dreams come true for every task of their own that they accomplish.

Caris & Co. analyst David Miller says MTV’s ratings are as “golden” as spray tan and he rates Viacom’s widely traded Class B stock “above average” with a target price of $42, about a third above the current level.

With Viacom set to renew a $4 billion share buyback program starting in October, shareholders should see stock prices rise as profits are concentrated among fewer shares. “We can see why management is salivating over buying back stock at these levels,” Miller wrote in a research note.

Viacom’s advertising revenue rose 4 percent in the latest quarter compared with last year, marking the second straight period of increase. Because advertising increases typically trail ratings gains by six to eight months, Miller wrote, the recent ratings boom should translate into more advertising dollars soon.

Aside from MTV, the Web video-inspired show “Tosh.0” on Comedy Central is attracting more men under 34 than any other television show on Wednesday nights. User-submitted clips with such names as “Giant Butt Girl” and “Wedding Vomit” suggest the kind of tawdry humor that is making guys laugh.

Nickelodeon’s dominance among pre-teens is also getting a boost from its new math-focused “Team Umizoomi” show, which runs on alongside longtime hits “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “iCarly,” and “Dora the Explorer.”

Even 88-year-old Betty White is helping grow the company’s fan base among a slightly older crowd with the show “Hot in Cleveland” on TV Land, which debuted to a huge audience of 5.8 million in June. The channel’s fans, nurtured on traditional sitcoms such as “Hogan’s Heroes” and “Gilligan’s Island,” were ready for an original show, White said.

“There’s nothing fancy or on the edge or groundbreaking,” White said in an interview. “We’re just an old-fashioned situation comedy, and I think that’s what their audience was looking for. And I think that’s why they accepted it so fast.”

To keep up its momentum, Viacom is prepping a ream of new shows, including a Comedy Central sports news show in partnership with The Onion, and MTV’s reboot of the 1980s “Teen Wolf” movies as a TV series.

There’s no guarantee that either show will succeed. And Horizon Media’s Adgate said of “Jersey Shore’s” success: “It’s not going to last forever.”

But Viacom’s batting average, at least at MTV, is getting better. According to McGrath, a greater percentage of MTV’s new shows are becoming “hits,” or shows that boost MTV’s audience share by 1 percentage point among 12- to 34-year-olds, a key group sought by advertisers.

Toffler acknowledges MTV’s success comes in cycles and tends to lull when one generation gives way to the next. For now, it seems to have caught the next wave.

As for “Jersey Shore,” season three is shooting in the original location in Seaside Heights, N.J.

Viewers will surely stick around for the episode featuring Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s arrest for annoying other beachgoers last month. A bigger audience and more ad dollars will surely make investors wanna smush.