Tanning salons are dimming their lights and fist pumpers are lowering their heads with the news that MTV is ending "Jersey Shore."
The show's sixth season, which will premiere on Oct. 4, will be the last for Snooki and the gang, whose binge-drinking and gallivanting in New Jersey's Seaside Heights became a cultural phenomenon.
Leading up to the final season, MTV will air "Gym, Tan, Look Back," recapping memorable moments of the past three years. The special will air on Sept. 6 ahead of the MTV Video Music Awards. The cast will also appear during the awards show.
"Jersey Shore" debuted in 2009, breaking records for MTV and garnering criticism that it portrayed a negative image of Italian-Americans.
Some advertisers approached "Jersey Shore" with caution, fearful of associating too closely with the cast's risque antics. Brands including Dell, American Family Insurance and Domino's pulled out of the show in 2009. But other advertisers lined up to be a part of the series after seeing its success.
Ratings for the series began to wane when the cast headed to Italy in season 4. When they returned to Seaside Heights in season 5, the January premiere brought in 7.6 million viewers, a 1.2 million decline from the prior premiere. Viewership continued to fade during the season, with the finale raking in just under 5 million viewers.
And now as the cast grows up, with Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi giving birth to a baby boy this week, the network has decided that the show has run its course. MTV has attempted to extend the franchise with two spinoffs, "The Pauly D Project" and "Snooki & JWOWW," but neither series has been able to garner the same ratings or buzz as the original. "Snooki & JWOWW" debuted to just 2.4 million viewers. While "The Pauly D Project" bowed to a slightly better audience, with 2.9 million people tuning in, but the numbers dropped each week.
"Snooki & JWOWW" has been picked up for a second season, but there's been no word on Pauly D's show.
With the end of "Jersey Shore," MTV must now figure out what's next. The Viacom-owned network has seen its ratings decline nearly 20% season to date among viewers 18-to-49. One of its major tent poles, the MTV Movie Awards, took a 29% ratings hit when it aired in June.
MTV has been increasingly pushing scripted shows such as "Teen Wolf" and "Awkward." It also introduced "The Inbetweeners" last week and will add "Underemployed" to its schedule this fall.