Jersey Shore is an American reality television series that premiered on MTV on December 3, 2009 in the United States. The series follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore in the U.S. stateof New Jersey. Season 2 followed the cast escaping the cold northeast winter to Miami Beach, with Season 3 returning to the Jersey Shore. The fourth season, filmed in Italy, premiered on August 4, 2011. The show returned for a fifth season, at Seaside Heights on January 5, 2012. The fifth season finale aired on March 15, 2012. On March 19, 2012, MTV confirmed that the series would return for their sixth season.
The show debuted amid large amounts of controversy regarding the use of the words "Guido/Guidette," portrayals of Italian-American stereotypes, and scrutiny from locals because the cast members were not residents of the area.
Dubbed a cultural phenomenon, the series has garnered record ratings for MTV, making it the network's most viewed series telecast ever. The series' cast has also been credited with introducing unique lexicon and phrases into American popular culture.
The University of Chicago and the University of Oklahoma are among the educational institutions that have had classes or conferences about the show. In 2010, the cast of Jersey Shore was named on Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People list, and the series has since been exported to dozens of countries worldwide.
VH1 producer Anthony Beltempo proposed the idea of a show focusing on the "guido" lifestyle for TV, in the form of a competition series. Executive producer SallyAnn Salsano, who previously worked on A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, devised a new concept, inspired by her summers in a Jersey summer share house, and retained Casting Director Doron Ofir to find the cast. MTV Networks President Van Toffler felt that the series "loud, young, bold" style was better suited to MTV's sensibilities than VH1, and MTV programming executive Tony DiSanto felt that "[After The Hills], it was time to go for a more authentic approach, like a documentary." Van Toffler described the casting process by saying they looked for "candor, honesty, boldness and a very combustible, chaotic mess. You could honestly say none of these people were traditionally beautiful."
The series follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer in a summer share in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Season 1 followed cast members Angelina Pivarnick, Jennifer Farley, Michael Sorrentino, Nicole Polizzi,Paul DelVecchio, Ronald Ortiz-Magro, Samantha Giancola, and Vincenzo Guadagnino at the Jersey Shore. Jersey Shore premiered on December 3, 2009, with back-to-back episodes, averaging 1.375 million viewers. Although the initial ratings were considered unimpressive to Salsano, they slowly grew in popularity, and was the subject of parody on Saturday Night Live after the third week, a turnaround that MTV executive Tony DiSanto calls "the fastest 0 to 60 I've ever seen on a show." Season 1 posted strong growth every week and ranked #1 in its time period versus all cable competition among P12–34 (people 12 to 34 years old) during the first quarter of 2010, with a season high 2.6 rating for the finale. The season 1 finale audience, 4.8 million, was more than triple that of the premiere, an increase of more than 3.4 million, and was MTV’s highest rated original series telecast in almost two years.Overall, the season 1 averaged 2.7 million viewers.
In an article in Rolling Stone, it was mentioned that the house had 35 remote-controlled cameras in fixed locations, 12 hand-held ones, one IMX camera and six DV cameras. Nicole Polizzi said that:
They have cameras everywhere, all the time... You're always being watched. You kind of get a little paranoid, because you're like, 'Who's watching me?'... It's trippy. it messes with your head. But that's why we go crazy. That's why we fight with each other. That's why we drink. We're living in a house for two months with that shit. We can't have cellphones, TV, radio or internet... There's no normalcy. It's like a prison, with cameras. The only time we're not on camera is when we're in the shower, and that's why we all take three-hour showers, just to get away from it all.
Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino during shooting inFlorence, Italy
in May 2011.
After Season 1, the cast negotiated pay raises, though both they and DiSanto explained that it was not contentious, and was given undue weight by the press. Rather than wait until the next New Jersey summer for Season 2, the production moved to Miami.
In January 2010 MTV announced that a second season consisting of 12 episodes had been ordered and would air that summer. It would follow all of the first season cast as they avoided the cold northeast winter by relocating to the South Beach, Florida. In May 2010 the cast relocated back to the Jersey Shore for the rest of filming, but it was later determined that the production company had enough footage from the Miami shoot to fill the entire second season, and that the footage to be shot at the Jersey Shore would be used for a third season. The second season premiered on July 29, 2010, averaging 5.252 million viewers. Season 2 was the #1 television series in the P12-34 demographic for the summer of 2010 across all TV and has also posted continued growth every week.
On July 20, 2010, MTV announced that the cast, would return for a third season, with the exception of Pivarnick. Season 3 returned to the original Jersey Shore summer setting, and replaced Angelina with Deena Nicole Cortese, a longtime friend of Polizzi. The season's January 6, 2011 premiere was viewed by a record 8.45 million viewers, making it MTV's most viewed series telecast ever. The second episode of the season once again set a series and MTV high, with 8.56 million viewers, only to set another record with the airing of the fourth episode, which garnered 8.87 million viewers.
On January 25, 2011, it was confirmed that the show had been renewed for a fourth season, to be filmed in Italy during the first half of 2011. The fourth season premiered August 4, 2011. MTV confirmed in June 2011 that the fifth season will return to Seaside Heights.
Believed complications caused by Nicole Polizzi's pregnancy, and several cast members (including Polizzi, DelVecchio, and Farley) receiving spin-offs sparked talk about the future of the series past the fifth season, however on March 19, 2012, MTV officially confirmed that the series would return for a sixth season, with all cast members expected to return. Filming for the sixth season is expected to take place in Summer 2012, which will see Polizzi nearly eight months pregnant. MTV said in a statement, "While things will definitely be a little different this time when they hit the boardwalk, their trademark hilarity and family dysfunction will remain the same".
On February 23, 2010, Amazon.com and MTV teamed up to release Jersey Shore on DVD. The title theme, "Get Crazy" by LMFAO has been changed. Other songs have been changed since their original air date as well. A retail release byParamount Home Entertainment with added commentary was released on July 20. Although it is claimed the DVDs are uncensored, the video and some audio is still censored. The DVD also includes special features include deleted scenes, the reunion special, "Tips From The Situation and Snooki," "Before the Shore," and the "Jersey Shore Makeover with Michael Cera" amongst others. On December 28, 2010 the Season 2 Uncensored DVD was released. On July 26, 2011 the Season 3 Uncensored DVD was released.
A soundtrack to the series was released by MTV and Universal Republic on July 20, 2010. Aimed to create the perfect summer playlist, the album features songs from a variety of artists including Enrique Inglesias, Pitbull, Taio Cruz, Ludacris, Lil Jon, 3OH!3, David Guetta,Fergie, Chris Willis, Girlicious and LMFAO as well as DJs like Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Tiësto, Diplo, Paul Oakenfold and Delvecchio. A deluxe edition of the album was also released containing a bonus CD featuring songs inspired from the first season of the show, likeLMFAO's "Get Crazy." The first single off the album was Enrique Iglesias' "I Like It", whose video also featured the Jersey Shore cast. In September 2010, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked Delvecchio's rap song off the soundtrack, "(It's Time to) Beat Dat Beat", as the #1 Worst Song Ever on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever; as a bonus, Wilkening used Delvecchio's quote as the reason for the #1 list: "Being a guido's a way of life. I don't represent all Italians, I represent myself. I started this whole GTL shit (Gym, Tan, Laundry). You have to stay fresh to death."
A quote book titled Gym, Tanning, Laundry: The Official Jersey Shore Quote Book (ISBN 978-1-4391-9682-3) was released by MTV on June 15, 2010. The book also includes a bonus DVD with the most memorable moments from season one of the show. A sticker book titled Jersey Shore Sticker Activity Book (ISBN 0-7666-3904-5) was also released on the same date, as well as a 2011 wall calendar (ISBN 0-7407-9797-2) by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Other merchandise relating to the show have also been released, including talking bobblehead dolls of the cast, a beach game set, Halloween costumes, a "Gym Tanning Laundry (GTL)" labeled sports bottle, "The Situation - Official App" for iPhone, as well as various T-Shirts.
The cast of Jersey Shore appeared on the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010. Nicole Polizzi appeared on TLC's Cake Boss episode "Snookie, Super Anthony & a Ship" on November 8, 2010, in which she orders a cake for her mom. Polizzi also appeared on the March 14th, 2011 edition of WWE Raw as the guest host and she wrestled a professional wrestling match on April 4th, 2011 at WrestleMania XXVII. Jennifer Farley and Angelina Pivarnick appeared on various episodes of TNA Impact in 2011. The cast of Jersey Shore appears on MTV's Season 4 of Disaster Date, starring Jen Lilley, Lauren Zima, Cale Hartmann, Jason Karasev, Russell Pitts, Hasan Minhaj, Diarra Kilpatrick, and Kara Luiz. Angelina Pivarnick appeared in the show NY Ink in which she got a tattoo that shows her time in Jersey Shore.
MTV received criticism from Italian American organizations for the way in which they marketed the show, as it liberally used the word Guido to describe the cast members. The term "guido" is generally regarded as an ethnic slur when referring to Italians and Italian Americans. One promotion stated that the show was to follow, "eight of the hottest, tannest, craziest Guidos," while yet another advertisement stated, "[the show] exposes one of the tri-state area's most misunderstood species ... the GUIDO. Yes, they really do exist! Our Guidos and Guidettes will move into the ultimate beach house rental and indulge in everything the Seaside Heights, New Jersey scene has to offer."
Prior to the series debut, UNICO National formally requested that MTV cancel the show. In a letter to the network, UNICO called the show a "... direct, deliberate and disgraceful attack on Italian Americans ..." UNICO National President Andre DiMino said in a statement "MTV has festooned the 'bordello-like' house set with Italian flags and green, white and red maps of New Jersey while every other cutaway shot is of Italian signs and symbols. They are blatantly as well as subliminally bashing Italian-Americans with every technique possible ..."Around this time, other Italian-American organizations joined the fight, including the NIAF, the Order Sons of Italy in America and the internet watch-dog ItalianAware.
MTV responded to the controversy by issuing a press release which stated in part, "the Italian-American cast takes pride in their ethnicity. We understand that this show is not intended for every audience and depicts just one aspect of youth culture." Since the calls for the show's removal, several sponsors have requested that their ads not be aired during the show. These sponsors include Dell, Domino's and American Family Insurance.
In a February 2010 interview, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called the show "negative for New Jersey" because most of the cast members are not from the state. According to Christie, the program "takes a bunch of New Yorkers and drops them at the Jersey Shore and tries to make America feel like this is the real New Jersey." Governor Christie took action against the series by trying to encourage people to experience the real Jersey Shore for themselves rather than watch it through MTV: "I can tell people: They want to know what New Jersey really is? I welcome them to come to New Jersey any time." A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released in February 2010 showed that 59% of Americans who had seen the show had a favorable view of New Jersey compared to only 44% of those that had not seen the show. The FDU poll repeated the national telephone survey in 2011 and showed similar results. Consequently poll director Peter Woolley concluded that “These measures... suggest the show isn’t hurting the nation’s view of the state. In fact, it may be promoting one of the state’s best features--not Snooki, but the shore itself."
Nonetheless, in September 2011, Governor Christie vetoed a $420,000 tax incentive awarded to the show by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, stating: "As chief executive, I am duty-bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens."
An episode featuring several parodies were made into a special entitled Jersey Shore: Spoof'd, which aired on January 16, 2010, featuring a cast commentary highlighting internet and television spoofs that have sprung up as a direct response to the show. The program also included the original cast audition tapes.
Several songs have been remixed to poke fun at the show and its characters, including "Tik Tok" by Kesha, "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z, and a spoof of "California Girls" by Katy Perry entitled "Staten Island Girls".
The webcomic Jersey Circus is a mashup of artwork from the newspaper comic strip The Family Circus and dialogue from Jersey Shore. It juxtaposes the innocent artwork of the comic with often adult dialogue from the show to parody both media phenomena.
On the animated sketch comedy Mad on Cartoon Network, they made a mashup of the Disney Pixar movie Up and Jersey Shore which they named "S'UP", as well as another episode where Jersey Shore was mashed up with the movie Thor, which was named "Jersey THOR".
On October 7, 2010, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling debuted two characters by the names of "Robbie E" and "Cookie" forming the team "The Shore" as a parody of DelVecchio and Polizzi. Jenni Farley, accompanied by The Beautiful People, appeared on the October 14, 2010 edition of TNA Impact! and got into a catfight with Cookie. Angelina Pivarnick appeared alongside Robbie E and Cookie on the March 3, 2011, edition of Impact! and challenged Farley to a match. The following week she wrestled in a match, where she, Cookie and Sarita were defeated by the Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky) and Winter.
The ninth episode of the fourteenth season of South Park, entitled "It's a Jersey Thing", parodied the cast of Jersey Shore, referring to the on-coming citizens of New Jersey as "Jerseyites", as the said invaders plan to make all of the United States into New Jersey.
In several episodes of the 8th season of MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head there were scenes where Beavis and Butt-Head would watch Jersey Shore while poking fun out of it.
On April 7, 2011, MTV announced it had picked up two spin-off shows featuring cast members Farley, Polizzi, and Delvecchio, picking up twelve episodes of each show. One show will focus on Polizzi and Farley living together after the conclusion of Jersey Shore. It will be calledSnooki and JWoww vs. The World, and will premiere in 2012. The other show will follow Delvecchio jet-setting around the country for various DJ gigs. The show will be called The Pauly D Project. Filming for both shows are to start at the end of 2011, with the shows set to premiere sometime in 2012. SallyAnn Salsano of 495 Productions (Jersey Shore) will be the executive producer of both spin-offs.