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'Jersey Shore' cast battles MTV for more moola

Cast of MTV's 'Jersey Shore'

Cast of MTV's 'Jersey Shore' Credit: MTV

Just as we got used to Pauly D and what "The Situation" is and how many Ws are in J-WOWW . . . just after we figured out whether Sammi "Sweetheart" was still going out with Ronnie or someone . . . and Snooki . . . um, what exactly was it that we learned about her?

Just as a band of self-described "guidos and guidettes" have created the biggest and most improbable hit on MTV since "The Hills," a few million fans may have to fuggedabout 'em next season. The cast of "Jersey Shore" is in the middle of a salary holdout, and has bonded together in a "Friends"-like embrace, anticipating a big payday.

According to a report in - not denied by MTV, which issued a terse "no comment" Monday - each cast member is seeking an unspecified amount, while MTV has offered each $10,000 per episode.

One additional wrinkle: The cast members were given until the end of business Monday to make up their minds, or MTV would assemble a new cast of juiced, oiled, gelled, bronzed (or oranged) housemates for the second season. (An agent for some members of the cast, Michael Schweiger, told, "A negotiation is a negotiation and there is no deadline that I am aware of.")

Fair or a rip-off? You be the judge: The Web site The Daily Beast reported last year that the cast of "The Hills" was grossing $525,000 per episode, which meant that over the course of the fifth season, MTV paid at least $10.5 million in cast salaries over 20 episodes - assuming the Beast's numbers are correct.

There are seven key cast members on "Jersey Shore," - Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Jenni "J-WOWW" Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola - and MTV is offering them a total of $70,000 per episode for 12 episodes or $840,000. (Each also gets $10,000 for club appearances, according to published reports.)

An eighth cast member, AngelinaPivarnick, left the show during the third episode - it was unclear whether she is part of the negotiations.

Last year, the most recent season premiere of "The Hills" was seen by just under 3 million people. "Jersey Shore" ended last week with 4.8 million viewers.

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