When Jersey Shore premiered on MTV way back in 2009, fans and critics alike assumed it would be the sort of cultural phenomenon that quickly comes and goes.
The expectation was that Snooki and company would become TV history footnotes that would seldom be mentioned outside of Trivial Pursuit question cards.
Instead, the show and its cast defied expectations by launching a multi-decade franchise that’s become a sort of life support system for the ailing MTV.
As a result of their unprecedented popularity (and profitability), the guidos carry a lot of weight at the network.
In fact, it seems that execs can’t green-light a new series without Snooki’s permission.
Back in May, MTV announced a new project called Jersey Shore 2.0.
The plan was basically to follow in the footsteps of the original series, but with a cast of zoomers, instead of 40-somethings whose arthritic joints prevent them from doing much fist-pumping.
Snooki immediately took to Twitter to announce that the spinoff series does not have the blessing of the original cast.
In fact, she made it clear that she and her castmates object to the network’s use of the Jersey Shore brand to promote a new series, with which the original cast is in no way involved.
“As a cast that took a chance on a network in need, we put our most vulnerable moments on TV for the world to see,” Snooki tweeted after the spinoff was announced.
“We gave our all over the past 13 years, became a family and continue to open our lives for the world,” she added.
“So please understand that we are not in support of a version that will exploit our original show, our hard work and authenticity to gain viewers.
“Don’t forget to tune into an all new season for Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” she concluded, referencing the show that still stars the original cast,” Snooki concluded.
She added the hashtag “#WeAreJerseyShore”.
Despite initial reports that MTV execs were outraged by Snooki’s protest, it seems the reality TV icon may have gotten her wish.
Jersey Shore 2.0 started filming last week, but multiple sources have now confirmed that production has been shut down.
No one involved with the show has spoken publicly about the unexpected move, but MTV has confirmed that production has been “paused.”
Industry experts say that MTV has never made this sort of move before, and the production hiatus is likely the cause of some unforeseen problem.
There might have been an issue involving one or more of the young cast members …
… Or MTV might have gotten cold feet in response to threats of legal action or a work stoppage from the original Jersey Shore crew.
The network is desperate for a hit these days, with Shore, Ridiculousness, and the various series of the Teen Mom franchise combining to make up the vast majority of their viewership.
With such a small roster of “hits” it’s not hard to see why execs would be desperate to spin them off into as many different projects as possible.
But Snooks might have made it clear that MTV will have to choose between their new project and their existing Garden State-centric hit, Jersey Shore Family Vacation.
And that’s a decision that even the most wasted of guidos could make in a heartbeat.