Category: Jersey Shore

About (Late) Last Night: Anderson Cooper begs, 'Stop paying Snooki to be Snooki'


Based on the evidence, it appears that Anderson Cooper has a higher tolerance for trashy reality TV than the average hardened news vet: He's tight with Atlanta "Housewife" NeNe Leakes; he's hosted New Year's Eve celebrations with Kathy Griffin; and he even admitted to watching the utterly terrible "Living Lohan." 

But the news this week that Snooki and the rest of her "Jersey Shore" housemates would be making a reported $100,000 per episode -- on top of club-appearance fees exceeding $25,000 -- was too much for Cooper.

On Wednesday night, he drew a line in the sand. He declared that anyone willing to pay Snooki "to be, well, Snooki" would be added to his "RidicuList" compendium (sort of like Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World," or Bill O'Reilly's "Pinheads and Patriots," only Cooper doesn't take himself so seriously).

Cooper's anti-Snooki tirade was provoked by the reported salaries for Ms. Polizzi and her "Jersey Shore" castmates for the show's upcoming fourth season. Pondering the absurdity of the numbers, Cooper unleashed a torrent of adjectives: "Snooki is one impossibly lucky, unusually spunky, freakishly tan, beer-guzzling, juicehead-hugging, muscle-loving, Botero-bodied, pint-sized money-making machine."

Making matters worse is the fact that Snooki, who aspired to be a veterinary technician before gaining international fame for her daytime drinking binges, now garners bigger speaking fees than Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.

"If you listen closely, you can hear schoolteachers around the country weeping right now,” he said.

I'm pretty sure I hear them too.

-- Meredith Blake

Reality Rocks convention hits few high notes on first day

The producers of the inaugural Reality Rocks Expo  may aspire for the event to eventually become the Comic-Con of the reality TV world. But they may already need a new script.

Lacking premiere attractions or A-list reality stars, the first day of the two-day expo, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets, drew only sparse crowds to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Sessions featuring stars and personalities from "America's Funniest Home Videos," "Shark Tank" and "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" were far from full.

Other panels in cavernous meeting rooms featuring lower-ranked contestants from past seasons of "American Idol" drew embarrassingly small audiences.

Some stars tried to take the low turnout in stride. "Come on, let the crowd in," joked Eric Roberts ("Celebrity Rehab") as the panel "Reality TV Changed My Life" started. "There's plenty of seats."

A session on social media featuring Mark Cuban and Daymond John of "Shark Tank" quickly collapsed. Attendees were supposed to "Twitter pitch" their ideas for inventions or products in 140 characters or less, with the two hosts providing immediate feedback. But despite the best efforts of KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin, who moderated the session, to maintain control, many of the pitches were prolonged, desperate pleas for funding.

Said one audience member, "This is why a producer is needed to filter this stuff out!"

The action on the convention floor was also lukewarm. An autograph area drew mixed reaction: Cuban and former porn star Ron Jeremy ("The Surreal Life") had lines, while others such as LaKisha Jones from the sixth season of "American Idol" had only a few visitors. Gretchen Bonaduce, the former wife of Danny Bonaduce ("Breaking Bonaduce") could do little to excite a small crowd with her 1980s cover band, Ankehsenamen.

Besides Cuban, some of the more prominent participants included Bruce and Kris Jenner ("Keeping Up With the Kardashians") and Nick Cannon ("America's Got Talent"). Missing from the event were reality stars that might have drawn large crowds, including Simon Cowell ("The X Factor," "American Idol"), Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson from "American Idol,", Jeff Probst ("Survivor") or any of the gang from "Jersey Shore."

There was one positive sign to the opening day: the food lines were short.

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Kris and Bruce Jenner at Reality Rocks.  Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

MTV goes spin-off crazy with three 'Jersey Shore' castmembers

Pauly Like a fine tan, “Jersey Shore” gets better with spin-offs? MTV sure thinks so.

The network announced Thursday that it has greenlighted new series featuring cast members Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “JWoww” Farley and Paul “J Pauly D” Delvecchio. Here we thought Lean Cuisine and Juice Box would be the ones getting a deal! Maybe next time, pooches! For now, the russett-colored stars are continuing their 15 minutes.

"It was kind of a no-brainer," Chris Linn, the network's executive vice president of programming and head of production, told ShowTracker. "I think we have breakout stars in all of our cast members."

Uh, so where are their shows? Could this put a dent in Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino's ego? Linn said the network is in talks with "a lot" of the cast members about developing shows.

"There was no real strategy as far as who got a show first," Linn said. "[Mike] obviously has had a busy schedule with 'Dancing with the Stars.' These were ready to go."

So what can viewers expect? One show will follow the adventures of our favorite book-writing, pickle-eating meatball (a.k.a. Snooki) and her behind-the-bar-peeing best buddy JWoww once they leave the Shore. It’s sure to be 12 episodes of wahhhs! and boobs as the friends shack up in a house together. (We're just thankful it isn't Ronnie and Sammi.)

Continue reading »

Italy trip delayed for 'Jersey Shore' cast?


Maybe there just aren't enough spray tan opportunities in Italia?

It seems our favorite orange-kissed “Jersey Shore” stooges — pale Vinny, too — won’t be fist-pumping their way through the European continent just yet. According to Radar Online, contract disputes and a resistance from Italian venues have pushed back production of the show to May rather than April.

It's been no surprise that Italy is less-than-thrilled about Snooki and the gang's arrival. And even less of a surprise that the reality stars are looking for a bigger paycheck. ShowTracker contacted a spokesperson for MTV, who said the network had no comment on any of the claims.

[Update 2:30 p.m.: “Things are looking good,” MTV President Stephen K. Friedman told our sister blog Company Town.  “We are moving forward with scouting for locations, and we are on track for our Italy season of 'Jersey Shore'.” ]

Radar Online also reveals that Florence, which has been home of such historical figures as Dante and Leonardo da Vinci, has been chosen as the base for smushin’ and pickle-eating.

--Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: The cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore." Credit: Emily Shur / MTV

Tweeter's Digest: Meltdowns, mourning and feuds in this week's celebrity Twitter round-up

Kirstie In Tweeter's Digest, we round up some of the events of the week as seen through the Twitter feeds of TV personalities. Celebs have finally gotten past the unifying topics of the last few weeks -- Charlie Sheen and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan -- and many have turned their attention back where it belongs: themselves. 

Of course, there were some water-cooler subjects to bring people together: the week started with "Seinfeld's" Jason Alexander (@ijasonalexander) and "Bones" producer Hart Hanson (@harthanson) weighing in on the mini-feud between James Franco and Oscar writer Bruce Vilanch, and ended with Kirstie Alley and George Lopez trading Twitter barbs after Lopez insulted her on his show. 

In between, Donald Glover of "Community" (@donaldglover) had some fun with Chris Brown's meltdown  on "GMA," "The Office" showrunner Michael Schur (@kentremendous) campaigned for Steve Carrell to get an Emmy, Michael Chiklis (@michaelchiklis) of "No Ordinary Family" and "The Shield" worried about Japan's nuclear reactors and Elizabeth Taylor was mourned by many.


Tweeter's Digest archive

-- Joy Press

More after the jump...

Continue reading »

Tweeter's Digest: Celebs tweet about Japan and other kinds of disasters

Situation Tweeter's Digest rounds up the events of the week as seen through the Twitter feeds of TV personalities. Over the last few weeks, the main topic that united celebs was Charlie Sheen.

This week began with horror and sympathy for the people of Japan dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. But attention also wandered to "Jersey Shore" star the Situation (@ItstheSituation) and his disastrous turn in the Donald Trump roast, "Glee" star Harry Shum Jr. (@iharryshum) was one of many to puzzle over the rise of viral video star Rebecca Black, and "American Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe (@dizzyfeet) announced the first Nirvana song performed on the show.

And just in case you were missing Charlie Sheen, "The Game" actress Wendy Raquel Robinson (@IamWendyRaquel) tweeted that she received an interesting offer from the self-proclaimed warlock...



More Tweeter's Digest after the jump.

Continue reading »

Incoming! The Situation gets lobbed with grenades for Trump roast performance


The Situation may be the $5-million man -- if you believe estimates of his earnings last year -- but his turn at the podium at the "Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump" wasn't worth a dime, according to the jeering in-studio audience and reviews of the special.

Anyone watching knew the "Jersey Shore" reality star was in trouble at the time -- if comedian Jeffrey Ross feels compelled to intervene with a flash of his flabby midsection, you know it's bad. If that wasn't clue enough, there were lots of crowd reaction shots -- all filled with expressions of disgust, eye-rolling and grimaces. And insults aimed at the self-proclaimed guido have been flying like grenades ever since the Tuesday night roast aired.

We've assembled some of the best disses here, so you can skip over The Situation bombing (or watch a slice, if you must, above) and go right to the counter-attacks.

Note: there seems to be a brouhaha brewing about some quips from The Situation (aka Michael Sorrentino) that didn't make it into the roast's final broadcast. Gossip site TMZ has published the racially insensitive, ageist and sexist remarks -- at least one of which was detailed in an earlier Show Tracker post -- and some critics think the seaside housemate should have to answer for his inappropriate sound bites.

Lisa Lampanelli: The roast veteran said in a TMZ video interview that The Situation assessed his own performance as "pretty good" moments after he left the stage. "I should go through life that delusional," she said. "I really wish I loved myself that much."

Snoop Dogg: Here's someone who knows how to deliver a joke that, in all likelihood, someone else wrote. Good on you, Snoop! "I gotta say a few more things about my girl Snooki over there," he said, aiming at The Situation. "Oh, that ain't Snooki? Oh, my bad. I'm sorry. All white people who act black look alike to me."

The Huffington Post harped on his lack of perspective: "He seems to be laboring under the notion that whatever he wants to do, he can. And why not? Being a guy with no real ambition beyond some kind of bizarre tanning, working out and laundry ethos has paid off handsomely so far."

And an L.A. Times Show Tracker commenter, after reading early reports of the performance, said: "That's what you get for having Charlie Sheen write your material."


The Situation nearly booed off the stage at Donald Trump's roast

-- T.L. Stanley

Forget flashcards! Watch reality TV and get into college

Kim This just in: Snooki and Brad Womack could help teens get into college!

OK. That may be a slight stretch.

Some college-bound students who took Saturday’s SAT test were given this essay question:

“Reality television programs, which feature real people engaged in real activities rather than professional actors performing scripted scenes, are increasingly popular ... How authentic can these shows be when producers design challenges for the participants and then editors alter filmed scenes?

Do people benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called reality, or are such forms of entertainment harmful?”

We’re sure images of “Teen Moms,” spray-tanned “Jersey Shore” cast members and Kim Kardashian danced through the test takers' heads -- for the ones who didn’t take prep classes, at least. What about the poor souls who don't watch reality TV?

“We acknowledge that not all students spend valuable hours watching reality television shows, nor are we recommending that students watch these programs,” said Laurence Bunin, senior vice president of the SAT Program for the College Board, in a statement. “However, we have found from our pretesting that students not only grasp but are quite interested in the underlying issues covered in the prompt: the effects of television on society; the desire for fame and celebrity on the part of 'ordinary people'; the authenticity and value of various 'realistic' representations (an issue central to the study of painting, film, drama and literature)."

That’s good and all. But we at Showtracker think there are better ways to gauge college hopefuls’ intelligence. Here are some better (not really) essay questions for teens:

1) By Vinny continuously refusing to ‘smush’ Snooki, what does this really say about gender expectations?

2) Compare and contrast Kim Zolciak (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”) with Madame Bovary.

3) "I’m goin out tonight, it's goin down / Headed straight to the front of the line, on the fly /On the floor I cant stand still/ And I'm goin to work like I’m paying my bills (bills)" -- from Kim Kardashian's song “Jam”

Is Kim Kardashian demonstrating her independence by working the line like she’s paying her bills or is she simply a line cutter?

ShowTrackers, what do you think of reality TV making it as an SAT essay question? How would you answer the question?

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Kim Kardashian. Credit: D Dipasupil / Getty Images

Tweeter's Digest: TV celebs tweet about Sheen disaster and natural disasters

Tyler Sheen Tweeter's Digest rounds up the events of the week as seen through the Twitter feeds of TV personalities. This week began with many actors and reality stars united by a topic of interest -- Charlie Sheen, last week's Tweeter's Digest superstar -- and ended united by a very different matter: the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. 

In between, director Paul Feig marked Steve Carrell's final episode of "The Office"; "American Idol" colleagues Steven Tyler (@iamstevenT) and Ryan Seacrest (@ryanseacrest) traded surreal banter, while Paula Abdul, RuPaul, and fellow reality stars Kelly Bensimon and Cheryl Burke tweeted about bullying after President Obama held a conference on the subject.

More after the jump.

Continue reading »

'Rules According to JWoww' joins the 'Jersey Shore' book club

Jwoww It may appear to the viewer that the stars of "Jersey Shore" are quite content bumbling through their days of Gym, Tanning and Laundry. But apparently they would also like to make a little money writing books about it on the side.

JWoww (a.k.a. Jenni Farley) is the third cast-mate to write a book: "The Rules According to JWoww: Shore-Tested Secrets on Landing a Mint Guy, Staying Fresh to Death, and Kicking the Competition to the Curb" currently sits at No. 6 on the L.A. Times bestseller list for nonfiction, just one slot above Barack Obama's "Of Thee I Sing."

The problem for JWoww, though, is that "Shore" fans might not turn out to be quite as bookwormish as the show's stars. Snooki (a.k.a. Nicole Polizzi) and the Situation (Mike Sorrentino) both penned books recently that haven't sold so well. 

Snooki wrote a novel on a subject she knows all too well: a summer on the now-infamous Jersey Shore. According to Amazon, "A Shore Thing" is the story of Giovanna "Gia" Spumanti and her cousin Isabella "Bella" Rizzoli, who are "going to have the sexiest summer ever." The two girls are "ready to pouf up their hair, put on their stilettos, and soak up all that Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has to offer: hot guidos, cool clubs, fried Oreos, and lots of tequila."

Continue reading »

Tweeter's Digest: The week in TV tweets

Snooki What better way to look at the events of the week than through the eyes of TV personalities?

This week, Joe Jonas celebrates the Super Bowl, Keith Olbermann celebrates his new job, Howard Stern celebrates his new Twitter feed. Meanwhile, Dr. Drew defends Lindsay Lohan, reality stars collide -- and actors keep an eye on Egypt. See them tweet after the jump

— Joy Press

Continue reading »

About (Late) Last Night: David Letterman tries on Snooki's slippers


Perhaps you've heard of Snooki? She is the shy and retiring star of the MTV juggernaut, "Jersey Shore," who was arrested last summer after a drinking binge that began around 9 a.m. Last night she stopped by "The Late Show" for the second time in a month. She's already made the rounds to plug her book, "A Shore Thing," and we're already several weeks into the latest season of "Jersey Shore," so it wasn't clear exactly what she was there to promote -- other than herself, that is. David Letterman has a reputation as a prickly interviewer, one who doesn't do much to disguise his contempt for some of the "celebrities" he interviews. Snooki never stood a chance.

For most of the segment, Letterman relentlessly grilled the self-proclaimed "drunken meatball" about her drinking habits. It seemed possible, for a moment, that the whole bit might be a staged mea culpa for Snooki, an opportunity, perhaps, to say something responsible about her excessive drinking. But no. Snooki -- whose confidently flashing neon stilettos contrasted with her nervous demeanor -- claimed that she's really just "a laid-back girl that would rather stay in and watch movies at night than go to a freaking club." A few seconds later, she explained her partying by saying that "You're at the shore. Obviously you want to go out," and she simply couldn't understand why everyone was making such a big deal out of her arrest. "Everyone took it so seriously. Stuff happens."  All righty then.

CBS has made very little of the interview available on their website, and I wonder whether it's because they were uncomfortable with Snooki's unrepentant attitude about her booze binge, or if it's because Snooki did not exactly make a great impression (it seemed pretty clear that she didn't know what Letterman meant by the word "belligerent," and there's no chance she understood his joke about doing shots with "stevedores and longshoremen"). The clip above was probably the most innocuous, least awkward moment from the segment. As the interview was winding down, Letterman asked Snooki about her future plans. Naturally, she told him "I definitely want to brand myself." (Translation: Lend my name to cheap novelty wares made in China.) Letterman then modeled Snooki's slippers, available for the low, low price of $29.99.

Who knew it was quite so cheap to walk in Snooki's shoes?


--Meredith Blake


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: