Oh joy: The cast of "Jersey Shore" has walked out.
TMZ has reported - which means its true because TMZ pays for this stuff and has also done a heck of job coverning this show - and now has a post up saying MTV is ready to "cut the cord," citing a "source" who says rather reduntantly, "The show is not about famous rich people with managers coming to the Shore."
(Or South Beach either, for that matter.)
If I've got this right, most of the cast is angry that MTV and 495 Productions cut a separate deal with the Situation and Snooki - both considered keepers for obvious reasons. Everyone was back in Seaside Heights this month for what was to ostensibly be the second half of the first season; but (per TMZ), MTV decided to split off the Seaside Heights portion into a third season, and so the cast thinks their old contracts are now null and void. (The fight over those contracts was consistent TMZ fodder too.)
So, you'd like to know what I - your faifthful TV Zone correspodent - thinks? That the shark-jumping has begun in earnest. The second season premiere begins next Thursday (the 29th) and MTV must think well enough of the South Beach episodes to have re-located the full cast (with possibly Angelina) back to Jersey; but it's also clear they've focused on Snooki and Situation as the core cast members, and that an entirely different show could be built around them going forward. In other words, they didn't think well enough of Long Island's J-Woww, etc. to give them a comparable deal, and had to know they'd walk - or at least act out - as a result.
But here's the thing: the old, original "Jersey Shore" - that quirky, funny, odd and occassionally sweet shock hit of last year - is dead forever. MTV or 495 can never recreate exactly that, which means the show has to morph intto something else or perhaps something entirely different - without, in all likelihood, the original cast.
[UPDATE: And if you are reading this post Tuesday morning, some news tidbits. The Hollywood Reporter reported last night that MTV was prepared to offer the rest of the cast $30,000 per episode - or up to that point. In truth, the report was rather vague, but it does indicate the impasse will end by today. I also talked to MTV's chief of production, Chris Linn late yesterday and while he would not comment on the "Shore" negotiations, I got every indication that this Too Shall Pass. He says the network's "thrilled" with the stuff they got in Miami, and that fame has NOT gone to the cast's head, and that this show still has plenty of life in it. I also got the feeling - a feeling only - that there's no rush to dump cast members. MTV clearly likes the way this group clicks, and rebuilding from the ground up could easily be a fatal move. So...expect resolution today.]
Here's the second season trailer, if you have yet not seen ...