2013 Predictions: 'Avengers 2,' Netflix, 'American Idol'
Plus: Is Meryl Streep on her way to a fourth Oscar?
"Jersey Shore" will rise again -- in a new form
While the much-derided MTV reality show slid to a low point (in terms of drawing eyeballs, that is) when the series finale brought in just 3.1 million viewers to make it "Jersey Shore"'s least-watched season finale, that isn't stopping MTV from looking for a successor to the lowbrow crown. As it happened with the glut of "Friends" knock-offs that littered the airwaves after that show went off the air, TV abhors a vacuum. Collections of crass, mouthy young adults are already lining up to be the next Snooki or Pauly D (who have already gone on to "Jersey Shore" spin-offs of their own). "Buckwild" (small town West Virginians) and "Washington Heights" (Dominican-Americans in Manhattan) are the two latest entries in the "Jersey Shore" mold on MTV, and we can bet other cable networks with solid youth demos are actively sniffing around for their own niches to mine. While critics lambasted "Jersey Shore" and ratings had declined recently, the formula -- when combined with the right personalities -- clicked with viewers, and critics will surely find the same horrors in these shows that made "Jersey Shore" water cooler fodder. "Jersey Shore" is dead, long live "Jersey Shore."
- Liane Bonin Starr