MTV Rides Longest Ratings Growth Streak in 18 Years as Fans Await Even More “Shore”

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

MTV’s ratings continue to grow at a torrid pace behind a programming resurgence that has revived beloved franchises and ignited new ones. As the net celebrates nine consecutive months of year-over-year primetime ratings growth – its longest streak in 18 years – MTV is keeping the programming fires stoked by announcing that the forthcoming Jersey Shore Family Vacation will reunite the original crew for not just a single season, but a second one as well.

The show’s April 5 debut follows a domestic reintroduction to the enormously popular Shore franchise in the form of hit Floribama Shore, which landed as MTV’s highest-rated series premiere in more than three years. Last night, the net also debuted a spin-off of sorts, Winter Break: Hunter Mountain, a mountain- and snow-bound reskin of the beachside Jersey barhoppers executive produced by Shore developer SallyAnn Salsano.

The pivot to unscripted programming behind MTV President Chris McCarthy has driven ratings up 20 percent year-over-year among adults 18-49, making MTV the fastest-growing channel among the top 40 cable networks.

Building upon the significant Shore archive, MTV will broadcast four Road to Vacation specials that cut the most unforgettable Jersey Shore footage with new cast interviews. The first throwback will debut March 15, with a new edition airing every Thursday leading up to the show’s premiere.

MTV Keeps the Party Going from Shore to Shining F***ing Shore

When Floribama Shore came whirling out of MTV in November as a barrage of binge drinking, bar brawls and bedwetting, it included a surprise announcement: the cast of the original Jersey Shore, which launched a global franchise and transformed “GTL” into widely understood shorthand, was reassembling for a new series: Jersey Shore Family Vacation.

Fans’ appetite for more Shore seemed to match the network’s enthusiasm – that first episode of Floribama Shore was MTV’s highest-rated premiere in more than three years.

There’s plenty more to come. After a raucous season that embedded itself deeply enough into the national conversation to earn the honor of a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit, MTV announced that Floribama Shore would return for 20 episodes starting this summer. The net also dropped another Family Vacation promo, this time asking viewers to help decide where the f*&% the OG cast will go by using the hashtag #JSFamilyVacation.

To understand the show’s popularity, it helps to examine its layers.

Watching an episode of Floribama Shore is akin to hopping into a time portal, transporting you to a bygone era of hot pin Polo T-shirts with the collar popped and “going-out tops” (aka the early aughts) that is somehow fused with 1950s sensibility.

It’s a world where a 23-year-old divorcée is fraught with anxiety over potential spinsterhood, and a gorgeous 24-year-old woman frets over aging. The male contestants at once act hyper-macho and are quintessential Southern gentleman. Imagine living life on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire, surrounded by the scent of Hollister cologne.

Of course, this group of twentysomethings partied as hard as their predecessors, but they also prayed before dinner and had thoughtful, seemingly unscripted conversations about their lives—one cast member had been homeless before the show, and another was reeling from the end of a 10-year relationship after her boyfriend cheated on her with her cousin. (This was, according to her, an “Alabama thing.”)

These deep conversations about real-life issues are perhaps what won over fans and critics, enough to earn the show a second season. In a Rolling Stone review, writer Kory Grow said Floribama Shore revealed “soul” and lauded MTV for showing “a group of eight red-state denizens, who, despite their personal flaws, did not espouse any outward Trumpism (or for that matter, Hillary hating). They all found common ground with each other easily – praying, discussing their Christianity and talking about their families.”

While you’re waiting for season two of Floribama Shore, watch season one on MTV, or cast your vote for the crew’s destination on Twitter, because the party hasn’t stopped.

Check out these tweets from our fans:

Legends Return and Stars Unite as Viacom Nets Stuff the Content Pipeline

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

It’s a time of great energy and invention at Viacom, with our networks announcing new shows, series extensions, and reboots weekly.

“Content is what Viacom is,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin last week. And this robust content pipeline underscores that point as ratings continue to creep up at core channels and fourth-quarter and full-year earnings map upticks in revenue and other key financial metrics.

The return of those crazy kids of Jersey legend, a beloved host helms an all-new concept, a fan-favorite franchise expands south, an unlikely onstage pairing produces a dazzling country-pop concert, a pair of season renewals drop, and a comedy legend is honored – here’s a look at previews for some our most anticipated programming, all of which MTV, VH1, CMT and Spike have released in just the past week:

MTV:

When Floribama Shore hit with the highest ratings of any network premiere in three years, it underscored fans’ hunger for the return of the Shore franchise. Perhaps foreseeing this enthusiasm, MTV queued up the return of the original series cast with a spot announcing Jersey Shore: Family Vacation during Floribama’s debut.

We don’t have many details or even a premiere date yet, but we know the important stuff: Deena, Pauly D, JWOWW, Vinny, Ronnie, Snooki and The Situation will all be back on our screens, together:

After headlining a pair of MTV classics in Rob & Big and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory,  skateboarder and reality star Rob Dyrdek returns to the network headlining Amazingness. Human towers, a hands-free archer, stepladders balanced on teeth – check out what will be – in Dyrdek’s words – “the talent show like no other talent show in the world” beginning this Friday, Dec. 8.

VH1:

VH1 has a New Year’s present for its rabid base of Love & Hip Hop fans – the premiere of the latest complement to the hit shows set in New York, Atlanta and Hollywood: Love & Hip Hop: Miami. Here’s a first look at the series and its ensemble cast, featuring Trick Daddy, Trina, Gunplay and Amara La Negra, among others:

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Shore Franchise Catches a Wave as Floribama Debuts to Big Ratings and Original Jersey Shore Cast Returns

Winter is just a few weeks away. In New York, this means hearing excessive amounts of holiday music while listening to weather reports with the ominous buzzword “polar vortex.”

Luckily, we can count on MTV to help us through the winter doldrums. The network announced Monday the return of beloved franchise Jersey Shore, which ended in 2012.

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MTV Heads South for Floribama Shore

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Over the course of a six-season run from 2009 to ’12, MTV’s Jersey Shore delivered an audacious brand of entertainment so compellingly addictive that it spread around the world in the form of spin-offs Geordie Shore (UK), Gandia Shore (Spain), Warsaw Shore (Poland), and Acapulco Shore (Mexico).

Now, the franchise is spinning right back to the United States, where eight twentysomething Southerners will inject the Shore spirit along a stretch of beach and party straddling the Florida-Alabama state line known as Floribama Shore.

The return of the Shore franchise to the United States comes as MTV continues to mine its heritage to fine tune its programming into an ongoing celebration of youth culture: TRL returned last month, following a resuscitation of My Super Sweet 16, Unplugged, and, on Snapchat, Cribs and Beach House.

Here’s a peak at the eight Floribama Shore cast members:

Jeremiah Buoni: 22, Amelia Island, FL

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Keep Calm and ‘Party Down South’ with CMT

by Chad Meholic, CMT

CMT SOcial Media (2)

Whether you were ready to “party down south” or not, CMT was blowing up the web on the premiere night of “Party Down South,” which shares production credits with MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” With takeovers on the day of the premiere on Perez Hilton, US Weekly, Buzzfeed, Urban Dictionary and YouTube, we knew people would be talking about the show. Read More

Appreciating the Rainbow That Follows ‘Jersey Shore’

by Daina Amorosano, Viacom

Buckwild (MTV’s West Virginia-based reality show about a group of rowdy young people, that’s been drawing in a lot of Jersey Shore comparisons) premiered to 2.5 million viewers last week, and we’re looking forward to tonight’s premiere of Washington Heights (the network’s docu-novela of Dominican-Americans in the Manhattan neighborhood). So it’s a great day to appreciate “The Rainbow That Follows Jersey Shore,” Jon Caramanica’s piece in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times – a thoughtful, optimistic piece on the success of Jersey Shore and some of Viacom’s latest programming (VH1’s Black Ink Crew in addition to the MTV shows). Read More

Community, Recovery in the Aftermath of Sandy

by Daina Amorosano, Viacom

Big Ang of VH1’s “Mob Wives” prepares food for victims of Hurricane Sandy in Staten Island, where she lives. She and the other “Mob Wives” actively helped their neighbors in the borough, cleaning up and delivering food to affected residents.

Hurricane Sandy devastated the New York tri-state area and shut down the city in a way no one’s seen before. But as recovery progresses, it is – if nothing else – refreshing to see how our community of employees, fans, partners and stars rallied to help one another in the aftermath of the superstorm. We’ve seen kindness amidst sheer destruction, especially in the hardest-hit areas.

“The devastation from Hurricane Sandy is unprecedented and has left so many struggling to rebuild their lives,” said Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman. “Viacom has always had a strong relationship with the communities it serves and we are proud to step forward once again to help those in need.”

With global headquarters in Times Square and operations in downtown New York City, New Jersey and on Long Island, and more than 4,000 employees who live in the communities directly impacted, the hurricane, quite literally, hit home. The Company is providing support to employees facing both serious hardship and common disruptions through its Viacommunity Employee Relief Program, as well as its commuter and daily life assistance programs.

We’re hopeful that the financial contributions, collections and volunteer efforts from Viacom and our employees, fans and stars (from MTV’s vow to restore the Jersey Shore to Big Ang and the rest of the VH1 Mob Wives getting hands-on with cleanup and food delivery in their native Staten Island) will make a difference to the broader community. In the days immediately following the storm, Viacom announced a combined $1 million in donations to the Mayor’s Fund for NYC and local organizations, and pledged another million through its matching gift program for employees. Of course, our family of networks from BET and CMT to MTV and VH1 have been using their platforms on-air, online and on mobile to drive participation in disaster relief efforts in ways that are most meaningful for their audiences.

And the Jersey Shore, where much of the hit reality show of the same name was filmed before it was ravaged by the storm, will be restored in time – Snooki, Vinny and co. have vowed as much. Hosting a fundraising special out of the MTV studio in Times Square, the cast will host a one-hour special to encourage viewers to aid with relief efforts too by donating online or via text message during and after the event next Thursday, Nov. 15. In partnership with Architecture for Humanity, which provides design and construction services after natural disasters, MTV is collecting donations to help rebuild the Seaside Heights boardwalk and the rebuild of business and residents in the area. 

In the meantime, we’ve got more work to do. Outside of giving financially, there are lots of items to give to the many left homeless by the storm, and the still more without water or heat as the temperatures drop in the area. For anyone interested in helping out, below is a roundup of the Red Cross’s In Kind Partners, leading organizations in New York who’d be delighted to receive your donation items.

Parlez Vous GTL?

by Anne Marie Kane, Viacom International Media Networks

The Cote D’Azur was abuzz this past week as Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) kicked off MIPTV 2012, the bi-annual international television and media market, with the arrival of Jersey Shore cast members Deena Nicole Cortese and Vinny Guadagnino – plus the hotly speculated news that the first ever off-channel format of the hit MTV series would soon be arriving on French shores through a deal with the TF1 Group, France’s leading national broadcaster.

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