'Jersey Shore' Around the World: A Look at Snooki's International Cousins

9:00 AM PST 04/03/2014 by George Szalai
MTV

Though its heyday at MTV is long gone, the format (and hair gel) has lived on in multiple international territories like Poland and Spain.

This story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

MTV's Jersey Shore, which at its peak drew nearly 8 million viewers in the U.S. during its six-season run from 2009 to 2012, now is but a colorful relic of reality television history.

But the show made Snooki, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and company into huge stars in the more-than-80 foreign territories where MTV aired the hit. So it's no wonder that the Shore format -- tattooed, uber-tan, fitness-crazed 20-somethings drink and sleep together in shared quarters -- is thriving via localized versions of the show in Spain, the U.K. and Poland. These foreign Shores now are delivering the highest-ever ratings for MTV in those countries, and a Mexican version also is in the works.

Says Kerry Taylor, senior vp youth and music at Viacom International Media Networks: "MTV's audiences look for recognizable brands and standout titles, so it makes sense to capitalize on successful U.S. concepts with local franchises."

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GANDIA SHORE (Spain): Launched in October 2012 and set in the coastal town of Gandia, the show became the highest-rated in MTV Spain's history, with the first episode drawing 1.2 million viewers. Series catchphrases that have become popular include "sagerado," from "exagerado" (meaning "exaggerated") along with "tete/teta," slang for "guys/girls" from the Spanish east coast. MTV Spain is set to order a second season of the show, which features now-iconic castmembers Cristina "Gata" Lopez, Alberto "Clavelito" Clavel and Cristina "Core" Serrano.

GEORDIE SHORE (U.K.): Geordie is the regional nickname and dialect for people from Newcastle, England. The vernacular is based on the old language of Anglo-Saxon people and contains many words and pronunciations not used in other parts of the U.K. (For example, "house" is pronounced "hoos," while "strong" is "strang.") "We had a small budget and no beach to film on; adding local humor to the format was key," says Steve Regan, vp production at MTV U.K. Among the show's stars are Vicky Pattison, whose trademark line became, "I am a Geordie girl with a VIP edge." Geordie Shore launched in May 2011 and peaked at 1.1 million viewers in its sixth season. An eighth season is on the way.

WARSAW SHORE (Poland): The capital and largest city of Poland, Warsaw also is missing its titular shore. But that didn't stop the Polish version of Jersey Shore from becoming a hit, averaging 187,000 viewers and peaking at 277,000. (The show also has reached more than 4.5 million views of shortform video clips on YouTube since its fall debut.) With a second season in the works, Warsaw Shore also has aired in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, among others, and its stars include Pawel, Ewelina, Eliza and Wojtek. Their catchphrases are the Polish equivalents of "Don't sleep, keep on sightseeing," "Don't f--- around!" and "No shit, dude!"

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