MTV is ending the fist-pumping ratings hit and cultural phenomenon "Jersey Shore" after this season, the network says.
The decision comes amid skyrocketing salaries for the cast of former unknowns, which has made MTV's most successful series increasingly expensive to produce. MTV said "Jersey Shore" will end after its sixth season, which premieres Oct. 4.
The network will commemorate the end of the show with farewell programming beginning next Thursday, with a one-hour retrospective called "Gym, Tan, Look Back" that will air before MTV's Video Music Awards.
The series, which has followed a group of self-proclaimed "guidos" and "guidettes" from the Jersey Shore to Italy, has popularized such phrases as "grenade" (an unattractive person), "smash" (have sex with) and "GTL" (gym, tan, laundry).
Since its debut in 2009, "Jersey Shore" has carefully recorded the pastimes of its tanned and oiled castmates, from drinking to fighting to hot-tubbing to smashing random pickups and one another. It introduced such bizarro celebrities as Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Jennifer "JWoww" Farley.
The cast will live on in other MTV shows. The spawn of "Jersey Shore" included "Snooki & Jwoww" and "The Pauly D Project."
Each announcement of a renewal or spin-off spawned countless jokes about the end of the world. But the world persevered.
The castmates, meanwhile, proved as adept at pumping money from MTV as they were at pumping their fists in sketchy nightclubs.
A lawsuit filed in April said that for the fourth season of "Jersey Shore," Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio received $100,000 for each of the 12 episodes, plus a $400,000 signing bonus, for a total of $1.6 million. He also received compensation for after-shows, a launch special, a reunion show, merchandising and other compensation, as well as a $200,000 "thank-you" bonus, according to the suit, filed by International Creative Management. The agency sought a chunk of the payout.
ICM also said in the suit that DelVecchio would receive $175,000 for each of the 12 episodes of the sixth season -- a total payday of $2.1 million, even before any additional payments. And DelVecchio and castmates will likely take part in even more specials for Season 6 than they have past seasons, given the show's end.
The final season comes as the cast has shown signs of growing up: Polizzi recently welcomed the first known offspring of any of the "Jersey Shore" crew.