‘Jersey Shore’ Cast and Creators Say Goodbye to MTV Hit Series
'Jersey Shore' Cast Says Goodbye With Series Finale, Recalls Favorite Memories
Just three years ago, a group of eight fist-pumping party animals moved into a house in Seaside Heights, ready to film a typical Real World-style reality series full of mixed drinks, hookups and hotheaded fistfights.
Yet the success of Jersey Shore exceeded the expectations of MTV executives and cultural critics alike, as the show pulled in nearly 9 million viewers and cable's best numbers among adults 18-49 at its peak. Sans new mom Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, the cast of MTV’s biggest reality hit gathered at Bagatelle in New York City on Thursday night to celebrate the beginning of its sixth and final season.
“It’s definitely been an awesome ride to be a part of this with MTV -- I’m very happy to be a part of six awesome seasons, on a number one show on MTV, and I really think that we helped pave the way for a new type of reality show,” Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino told The Hollywood Reporter. “I really think that we’ll be remembered as a very positive, popular show that changed pop culture.”
The first episode of Season 6 aired on Thursday night on MTV, debuting a sober Sorrentino and Polizzi at six months pregnant.
“I was definitely a little apprehensive going into this season because there was definitely a big challenge for me,” explained Mike, who returned to the shore house after a stint in rehab for prescription medication. “I just hoped for the best, thought positive, and to be honest, worked on it day-by-day to be the best me that I can be. As you can see, it ended up working out.”
“I knew going into the house, he’s gonna be a better Mike,” said Ronnie Ortiz-Magro of his castmates’ changes. “[And] it’s weird living in a Shore house with a pregnant girl; you’re used to Snooki being so wild and crazy. She did the right thing throughout the season – she moved out and she got her own house. We support her, and she still had a great time.”
Though the cast was not notified before or during filming that the sixth season would be its last, they admitted on the red carpet that they saw the cut coming.
“We kinda felt there was going to be an end,” Deena Cortese said. “We felt it was the right time, and I think MTV producers felt it was the right time – Snooki’s pregnant, all of us are growing up and going in our own directions, we’re all in relationships basically, So we’d rather go out while we’re still hot than phase out.”
"Going into it, I really didn’t know what to expect this year," added Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchio. "I usually know what to expect, but it’s probably one of my favorite seasons to film."
The decision to end the series had been on the minds of MTV execs for some time, as they evaluated their options at the end of each season. “At some point, it doesn’t make sense to continue to do the same thing, and we wanted to make sure that we went out on top,” said Jackie French, senior vp of programming at MTV. “This has been our most successful franchise, and out of respect for the series, we wanted to make sure that we did it in the right way.”
Executive producer Pam LaLima acknowledged that milestones like Jenni “JWOWW” Farley’s engagement hinted toward the show’s conclusion. “It’s not what everyone is looking for anymore. Their first steps into the shore, we all kind of related to that. Now that they’re taking the next step, people are sort of like, ‘Who cares? You’re getting married, you’re having a kid. Alright, you’re growing up -- we’re not interested.’”