"Jersey Shore" is coming back, but not to the Jersey Shore.
MTV said Saturday the full cast will return this summer for a 12-episode run, but that they "escape the cold Northeast and find themselves in a new destination."
Perhaps befitting this show, the re-renewal was a no-brainer: Ratings have been scarily good (nearly 5 million watched the first season's Jan. 21 finale), while the cast members have become pop culture mini-phenoms. Like Garbo (or Jay-Z), we know them by one name, sometimes accessorized with an initial - Angelina, Pauly D, Mike, Snooki, Jenni, Sammi, Ronnie and Vinny. They're also a little bit richer. A couple of them held out for a better payday, demanding more than the $10,000 per episode MTV was offering (Not unreasonable on their part, by the way, considering some members of "The Hills" were pulling down more than $100,000 per episode.) Final terms were not disclosed.
The holdout was getting nasty and MTV was returning the favor, but yesterday, there were no signs of animosity: "Our audience has fallen in love with 'Jersey Shore' and its amazing cast who have really grown together as a family," said Tony DiSanto, MTV programming chief in a statement, adding the network is "thrilled" to reunite the cast for more "laughs, love, drama and of course, GTL [Gym Tan Laundry]."
Fan reaction was slightly mixed. Yes, sure, of course - very happy to see the oiled, juiced, ripped, tanned gang back, but "Jersey Shore" - at least this summer's edition - will not be set at the Shore. (MTV declined to say where the show will be taped, but Florida is a little warmer this time of year.)
One fan, otherwise thrilled, wrote on Twitter, "moving a show called the Jersey shore out of Jersey? That's dumb."