This is probably something that most people already knew, but an early Christmas present from World TV PC is the confirmation that MTV reality series Jersey Shore is no more, after last week airing their final episode in three years and six seasons.
It appears as though it did not end with a flourish, either, disappearing with ratings a third of those seen in the show’s peak, with an estimated 3.13m viewers tuning into the farewell episode on Thursday (20 December), with the end date perhaps showing why we were spared from a vengeful Mayan apocalypse the day after.
While the numbers are almost double the record low (the double-header that marked the show’s first two episodes three years ago with 1.38m viewers), and up from its performance in the previous week (which recorded the second-lowest rating of all-time for the series with 2.03m), Jersey Shore‘s ratings come nowhere close to the heights of the near-9m figures of season 3, or much of the rest of the surprisingly high-performing episodes of the past, having hit a gradual decline since the beginning of their final series in Seaside Heights (USA), which started on 4.69m viewers.
While the series that created new ‘celebrities’ including ‘Snooki‘, ‘Pauly D’, ‘JWoww‘, and ‘The Situation’, it is by no means the end for MTV’s breakout ‘talent’, with many reality TV careers set to continue with spinoff series Snooki & JWoww premiering its second season in January, while The Pauly D Project covers the DJ-ing aspirations of the titular lead, and Vinny ‘Vinny’ Guadagnino has been recruited for hosting an un-named talkshow project.
While there is a void being left by Jersey Shore on the schedule that will be filled by new MTV series Buckwild (a reality project based in the state of West Virginia that has already been described as a ‘Redneck Jersey Shore’ and taking inspiration from fellow MTV show Jackass), it is not the end for the Shore brand around the world either, with Jersey Shore reruns (and an ‘uncensored’ season 6 DVD release in March containing ‘unseen footage’ and the stars recapping on the ‘highlights’) naturally still set to occur, though the network’s European divisions will retain their interest in official branded spin-offs in England (Geordie Shore) and Spain (Gandia Shore).
While there will be many judgements cast on Jersey Shore as it makes its departure, it will be years down the line where the show’s legacy is really measured. Was it an unfortunate innovation and turning point in the history of how TV shows are made, or will it just become a six season-long ‘episode’ that everyone would rather forget?