Jersey Shore generates death threats to MTV, dropped sponsors, but low ratings

MTV’s two-hour debut of its docudrama Jersey Shore has generated a lot of press and even death threats to MTV employees, but it did not get a lot of viewers despite pre-season attention and controversy.

The debut had 1.4 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s James Hibberd, who says he’s “surprised” more viewers didn’t tune in, and compares that to recent season debuts of The Hills (2.1 million) and The City (2 million).

But there’s still been a lot of reaction. Today, Fox News reported MTV staffers “involved with the press component on the show were being bombarded with abusive emails, phone calls and facebook messages — many of which involved death threats.” An anonymous “insider” said “the MTV building in Times Square was getting crazy threats and they are in the process of hiring more security in bodyguards.”

After Domino’s pizza asked that its ads not run during the show (a rep told Brandweek, “The request to keep our spots from future episodes took place in the morning, well before we received any complaints or inquiries from anyone. We have no issue with MTV, and we haven’t pulled our advertising from the network. We just don’t want to be on that particular show.”), an American Family Insurance rep told TMZ that their ad buy was ending but “we took the simple and prudent step of asking MTV to not air any more … promos during ‘Jersey Shore’ reruns over the weekend.”

Finally, the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau defended is region by saying in a statement that “MTV is providing a one-dimensional, dramatized version of a very small group of visitors’ summer experiences in one Jersey Shore town.”

MTV, one-dimensional as it revels in stereotypes? No way!

MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ does ehhhh [Hollywood Reporter]
Jersey Shore Objects to MTV ‘Jersey Shore’ Series [New York Times]

Domino’s Not Feeling MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’
[Brandweek]
‘Jersey Shore’ Scares Off Another Sponsor [TMZ]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.