Can you stand to hear one more quip about how the fist-pumping will soon stop for good on MTV's "Jersey Shore"? I'll spare you, just in case. Suffice it to say, MTV announced last week that the upcoming sixth season of its hit "Jersey Shore" is set to be its last. Fans had long suspected as much, since the show's cast members are rapidly becoming more, dare I say … mature?
The show's biggest star, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, is now mom to baby Lorenzo, born August 26, and engaged to Lorenzo's dad Jionni LaValle. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, emerged from rehab, where he was being treated for a prescription drug addiction, in April. Now an MTV exec confirms that the cast's lifestyle changes were the main reason for "Jersey Shore's" demise. "We've always said we'd do the show for as long as it made sense," Chris Linn, MTV's executive vice president of programming, told Entertainment Weekly. "We noticed what was going on in their lives, with Nicole having her baby, the relationships, etc., it felt like the right time to bring it to a close and end on a high note."
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While it also was rumored that the show's declining ratings (the audience for the Season 5 premiere was 14 percent less than the Season 4 premiere) and the cast's rising salaries (reportedly up to $150,000 an episode) made the show less likely to get renewed, Linn insisted that wasn't the case. "It hasn't been a significant consideration. The show still dominates, it's the No. 1 show in our core demo, it's still incredibly successful," he said. "It's really about their lives evolving and changing in a way that moves them away from the original conceit of the show."
Even in "Jersey Shore's" final season, the audience will see some changes. For one thing, Snooki, who was pregnant during filming, will be living in her own house next door to the rest of the gang. "What I think is most exciting about this season are the changes that have happened," Linn said. "This is the longest the cast has been apart between seasons. There was time for new events to develop in their lives. Mike went into rehab and is coming back sober. Nicole is pregnant. Deena is in a different relationship. Sammi and Ronnie’s relationship has evolved. Their lives are at different stages and how they react and adapt to that is really fascinating."
Still, Linn promised that some things would not change. Snooki, for instance, is going to be prominent, regardless of her address. "She's very much present in this season. It's not in her character to not be in the middle of everything." He also teased that, "The tension between Mike and Nicole definitely is a key storyline."
Fans can reminisce about all the favorite moments from "Jersey Shore" in a new retrospective, “Gym, Tan, Look Back,” before the MTV VMAs on September 6. The final season of the show kicks off on October 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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