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September 3, 2012

Situation ended: MTV cancels 'Jersey Shore'

All good things must end, even "Jersey Shore," which will fold up shop at the end of its upcoming sixth season, MTV announced Thursday. The show that saved MTV will premiere its sixth and final season Oct. 4.

Unveiled to an unsuspecting public in December 2009, "Jersey Shore" is another of those tragic TV industry stories. The Situation, Snooki and the rest of the gang still had so many neighborhoods to terrorize, and so much binge-drinking, hooking up and emotionally fraught fighting to accomplish.

But some of the stars had become distracted with starring in their own spinoffs. MTV decided to pull the plug before the show's ratings got any lower and costs got any higher.

The show's headliners are reportedly making more than $2 million each for the sixth season, which works out to about the same paycheck per episode as the adults on ABC' s "Modern Family" will get for that show's upcoming season. The rest of the "Jersey Shore" cast make about what the "Modern Family" kids are slated to make this coming season.

But "Jersey Shore" ratings have slipped noticeably since the heady days at the start of its fourth season when it hit 8.8 million viewers — an MTV record. The network tried to broaden the show, sending the gang to terrorize Florence, Italy, for that fourth season. But the cast clearly hated playing fish out of water, the locals weren't impressed and viewers began tuning out.

The show's return to Jersey for Season 5 didn't help revive the ratings. By that season's penultimate episode, ratings were back down to first-season levels. "Jersey Shore" continues to be cable's No. 1-ranked series among 12- to 34-year-olds, but here, too, the ratings have taken a big hit.

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