MTV Explains Why The Situation and His Jersey Shore Pals Had to Go
Jersey Shore | Photo Credits: Ian Spannier/MTV
G-T-Later! Jersey Shore is still a ratings smash, even though audience levels have dipped from its 2011 high. But MTV programming executive vice president Chris Linn tells TV Guide Magazine that it was time for the show to retire anyway.
Speculation on the end of Shore has centered on the show's escalating costs, now that roommates like Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi make as much as $150,000 an episode. But Linn says that wasn't the case. Meanwhile, MTV still has another season of Snooki & JWoww in the works (including the birth of Polizzi's baby), while no decision has been made on the Pauly D Project. Linn says MTV has also nixed any talk of continuing Shore with a new cast.
The sixth season of Jersey Shore premieres Thursday, October 4 at 10/9c. Linn spoke to TV Guide Magazine about how things went down:
TV Guide Magazine: It's the end of an era. How did you come to the decision to end Jersey Shore?
Linn: We came about it pretty organically. We've always talked about when will we know that it's time, as you'll see in this season and what you've read and seen and heard, you know their lives are changing, like any young adult. Nicole has the baby, relationships are brewing, they're taking those next steps of young adulthood.
The show started out as an authentic phenomenon of what occurs when young people get together to live in a summer shore house. Over time your life starts to move on in ways that take you in different directions. They're changing and we've always wanted to be able to go out on a high note.
TV Guide Magazine: The show isn't doing what it used to, but it's still a huge ratings success for you guys. I imagine this is something you knew you had to do, but it still stings.
Linn: We're thrilled with how well the show continues to do and we expect Season 6 to do incredibly well. The show has been so good to us in so many ways so we felt like we wanted to do the right thing.
TV Guide Magazine: This allows you to promote the final season as the end and try to get a nice ratings bump.
Linn: That is not an intentional strategy on our part. But certainly as I watch the episodes now, seeing it through the lens of this will be the last season, it adds another layer to it. Maybe you savor it a bit more. But in all honesty [the decision] just came together.
TV Guide Magazine: I also imagine been harder to keep up the show's conceit as the roommates became major celebrities.
Linn: We've always wanted the show to be authentic as possible. And much to our surprise that they have become as uber famous as they are, it certainly added challenges. Their lives are evolving and changing, they're following different paths and they have different businesses. It sort of starts to lead them away from what the original conceit of the show was. So better to acknowledge that and know when its time to move on then to try to milk that or incorporate it in a way that doesn't feel organic.
TV Guide Magazine: At the same time, the salaries have increased astronomically for the stars, and the show has gotten more expensive. Did it no longer make financial sense to keep it going?
Linn: In all honesty, that hasn't been the case. The show continues to do incredibly well in the ratings. Even in its last season it was the No. 1 show in 12-34 each week. We didn't even get to a step to discuss negotiating for another option and other season. So it's not a matter of negotiations. It was a decision we made for the good of the franchise and the channel. Our audience also demands reinvention from us. We've had Jersey Shore on our air for a while now and it's burned brightly and been a big piece of who we are, but we don't want to repeat ourselves. We've constantly looking to reinvent. It's a difficult choice to kill your baby, but sometimes you have to do that and move on.