Party now, or apocalypse now? The end of MTV's Jersey Shore gravy train is nowhere in sight.
On Thursday, the network announced it had ordered not one, but two Jersey spin-offs: one is a buddy comedy starring Snooki and JWoww as housemates and the other will follow Pauly D's career as a DJ. Both as-yet untitled shows will premiere in 2012 and focus on the cast members' lives away from the Shore. Twelve episodes have been ordered for each.
Meanwhile, MTV Executive Vice President of Programming and Head of Production Chris Linn tells TVGuide.com that contrary to Wednesday's report, production on the upcoming fourth, Italy-bound season of Jersey Shore has not been delayed due to contract negotiations with the cast.
In fact, those deals are done. "There have been no delays because of contract negotiations," Linn says. "We have closed deals with all the cast members, so that's in great shape. Production schedules are always a bit fluid. We try to hone in on the right locations and accommodations. But we are on schedule and expect to start shooting later this month/beginning of next month."
As for the two spin-off series, Paul "DJ Pauly D" Delvecchio's show is "sort of a reality version of Entourage," Linn says. Viewers will watch Pauly as he pursues various DJ gigs across the country. The pilot presentation, which will not air as-is, also featured Pauly at home in Rhode Island, introduced his friends and family life and followed him to a job in Las Vegas. (He recently DJ'd for Britney Spears' surprise Vegas show.)
"Its tone is not as outrageous as Jersey Shore, but every bit as engrossing and funny," Linn said. "It's him building his career. He's obviously gotten notice from Jersey, but it's really important to him that he be seen as a legitimate DJ on his own terms." Linn has attended a Pauly performance and attests "he's a fantastic DJ. He has immense charisma and I think he knows how to please the crowd. Of course, he's also very funny."
The show starring Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and and Jenni "JWoww" Farley will see the two Jersey girls attempt to live on their own. "Snooki is ready to leave home, Jenni's no longer with Tom, so this will be the two of them moving in together, into a house, and pursuing their careers and relationships," Linn said, referring to the pair as a reality Laverne and Shirley. "Wherever they go, chaos and good times follow."
The pair hasn't moved in together yet though because MTV is still scouting for a house in the New York/New Jersey area.
But will it all prove to be Jersey overload? Linn doesn't think so. Asked if MTV executives were hesitant to green-light two spin-offs when it's still got a fourth season of Jersey on the way, Linn said, "of course."
"We're always looking at maintaining diversity of projects on our air. This will be about the scheduling strategy," he said. "Where does it make sense to air? We're very careful in between cycles of Jersey Shore to rest the franchise so that we build the appetite for when the show comes back. We'll do the same for these new shows."
Linn also said MTV continues to be in development with other projects with other cast members including Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.
Season 3 reached a high point when its fourth episode averaged nearly 9 million viewers.
Which show are you more interested to see? Snooki and JWoww's or Pauly's?