Farmingdale native and "Jersey Shore" creator SallyAnn Salsano is about to strike again, with two new shows launching Thursday night -- "Jerks With Cameras" (MTV, 10:30 p.m.), and "Party Down South" (CMT, 10 p.m.). Of the latter, think this: "Shore" set in Murrells Inlet, S.C.
And also this: Boozing, brawling and sex, with a southern accent, among cast members who didn't previously know each other.
I spoke with Salsano earlier this week about the new shows. An edited version of our chat:
So, is "Party" essentially "Buckwild" (the MTV show about a group of misbehaving young West Virginians, itself a "Shore" knockoff)?
I would say it's different -- "Buckwild" took place in a small town, [and] this is more like strangers who did not know what to expect, and we put them in a vacation place .
I went to the [Jersey] shore with my friends, and that's where I partied, and Myrtle Beach is where I went with my family. So everywhere I go on vacation, that's where I say my next show will be set.
This seems like a big departure for CMT, no?
I do watch a lot of CMT, and this is right in their wheelhouse -- "My Big Redneck Wedding," "Dog, the Bounty Hunter." Big crazy characters and they have to be embedded in reality. That's the most important thing -- they have to be authentic, and if nothing else are authentic.
From what I've seen of this, it looks pretty awful -- the sort of stuff that demeans people just for watching. Do you worry about the coarsening effect your shows have on the culture at large?
If you're comparing this to "Jersey Shore," then I wear it like a badge of honor. When I was a kid and watched John Hughes movies, I related to those people, [but] because of the generation gap, people are now less likely to learn from a movie and like to watch people who are just like them.
John Hughes is rolling in his grave right about now.
He may roll in his grave, but I believe these are modern-day John Hughes films [with] the same life lessons, about making up, breaking up, making new friends . . . It's raw? That's how kids are talking today. It's not like we're going out of our way to sensationalize.
"Shore" outraged a lot of Italian-Americans. Any concern this will outrage the Bible Belt?
I'm not concerned. I'm a Catholic girl. I'm sitting at my desk right now, and I'm cleaning my cross [necklace]. I feel like people get mad and outraged when stuff is true. . . . I found a group of kids who are great kids. They party like rock stars, come from great families and go to church on Sunday. This is who they are.
Your other new show, "Jerks with Cameras" -- seems a little less offensive, thankfully. (It's a "Candid Camera"-like series about comedians who tape the reactions of pedestrians when confronted with some sort of silly -- and false -- claim, like skipping out on a restaurant check.) Any chance you'll film on the Island?
I do think "Jerks" should go to Long Island . . . Farmingdale -- I'm a Daler -- and Massapequa. I would not shy away from Lindenhurst. Deer Park would be good.
Any chance for a "Jersey Shore" reunion?
I choose to think it's not over, but that's just me. I always think we're going to be back. I always think the show is just taking a nap. But a reunion? [Yes], at some point. We just can't keep America guessing."