The party's over for the "Jersey Shore" crew: MTV has announced it's ending the fist-pumping reality hit after next season.
Debuting in 2009 (it feels like much longer ago, doesn't it?), "Shore" became a genuine cultural phenomenon with its portrait of eight young guidos and guidettes drinking and fighting their way through a summer on the Jersey shore. Cast members like Snooki and The Situation became household names, catchphrases were repeated ad nauseum ("Cabs are here!"), and MTV enjoyed the biggest ratings in network history.
But as the seasons wore on, the charm of the "Shore" crew wore off. Sudden fame and huge salary demands have transformed the cast from likable newcomers to bored millionaires. (They're scheduled to pull in as much as $150,000 per episode next season.) Ratings have dipped accordingly -- last season's premiere pulled in a million fewer viewers than the previous year -- and inevitable life changes like Snooki's surprise pregnancy and engagement led many to wonder if the gang could keep up their hard-partying ways much longer. (Turns out they couldn't.)
MTV doesn't have much of a Plan B, either: "Shore" spinoffs "The Pauly D Project" and "Snooki & JWoww" have underwhelmed so far (although "Snooki" has been renewed for Season 2), so it looks like this gravy train will be coming to a full stop pretty quickly. Unless... "Jersey Shore: The Next Generation," anyone?
Enjoy a classic Snooki moment in this "Jersey Shore" clip:
Season 6 of "Jersey Shore" premieres Thursday, 10/4 at 10 PM on MTV.