Jersey Shore Cast Re-Signs With MTV For Second Season
Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times reports that MTV emailed out a press release at 1:33 am Friday night announcing that the full cast Jersey Shore will be returning for a second season. The second season is planned to air this summer, but the press release warns that the cast will “escape the cold Northeast and find themselves in a new destination.” This does raise the question of why the show should even be called Jersey Shore any more.
MTV had originally offered each of the castmates $5,000 per episode for the second season, which they flatly rejected. MTV then doubled its offer to $10K per, which they considered. On Thursday, TMZ claimed that two members of the cast, Ronnie and J-Woww had agreed to those terms, while the others continued to hold out. The deadline for the end of negotiations had originally been Monday, but MTV extended the deadline to close of business Friday. They presumably reached an agreement only a few hours before the deadline.
It’s not clear whether the cast settled at $10K, or persuaded MTV to go somewhat higher, but it also doesn’t particularly matter. While some of the stars of The Hills were reportedly making $100,000 an episode, a reality star’s bread and butter is normally club appearance fees. This is especially true for such inveterate club-goers as our Jersey Shore friends. Pauly D, for example, is apparently commanding $10,000 per night to DJ now. The cast will apparently be able to make as many as 4-5 club appearances a week during the second season, which will have to start filming very soon if it is to meet its goal of an early summer premiere.
This was a good deal for both sides. Before Jersey Shore, MTV hadn’t had a new hit in years. The show premiered at only 1.375 million viewers, but grew each week until the season finale, at 4.8 million, was the highest rated show on cable. And the “youts” loved it: 4.8 coverage among people 12-34. MTV is therefore making way more off the show than it would cost to produce with talent fees at $60,000 per episode total. Nevertheless, I think re-signing at a reasonable price was the right move for the cast as well. In the worst-case scenario, where the audience suddenly loses interest (a possibility considering the show’s relatively limited avenues for growth), a second season allows them to extend their fifteen minutes of fame. If the show can continue to hold its audience or grow, precedent has now been set that Jersey Shore is about an ensemble rather than a setting. After a successful second season, the cast will then have a lot more bargaining power in negotiating the terms under which a third is produced.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org