LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The era of 'GTL' is ending on MTV with the upcoming season of popular reality TV show "Jersey Shore" and its catch phrase "gym, tan, laundry," the cable TV network said on Thursday.
MTV scored a ratings hit with "Jersey Shore" when it debuted in 2009, shedding light on young Italian-Americans living along the ocean side in New Jersey. It documented the lives of self-described 'guidos and guidettes' partying together over the course of a summer.
Despite early controversy over whether it exploited negative stereotypes, "Jersey Shore" garnered the highest ratings ever in MTV history, drawing more than 8 million viewers per episode, on average, at its height in 2011. Ratings have dropped off since then to around 5 million a show.
Cast members Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Jennifer "JWoww" Farley, Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Samantha "Sammie Sweetheart" Giancola and Vinny Guadagnino shot to fame in the first season.
Cast member Angelina Pivarnick left the show after season 2 and was replaced by Deena Nicole Cortese, who brought her quirky antics to the "Jersey Shore" family starting in Season 3.
The decision to end the show after the upcoming season, which begins in October, comes as the cast members have all begun forging new paths in their careers and lives.
Pint-sized Snooki, 24, who gave birth to a baby boy last week, earned a spin-off show with JWoww titled "Snooki & JWoww," which saw them move in together.
The content of the show changed course when Snookie announced her pregnancy in March this year, which would prevent her from partaking in the hard drinking and partying antics that made her a hit on the show.
Pauly D carved out a successful career as a DJ, and Forbes estimated his earnings for 2011 at $11 million, placing him among the world's top-earning DJs. He was the first "Jersey Shore" housemate to receive his own spin-off, "The Pauly D Project," which followed him around the world in his DJ career.
The Situation also cashed in on his fame, with earnings estimated at $3 million in 2010 by The Daily Beast, made from the show, event appearances and endorsements. Earlier this year, the reality star entered rehab to deal with prescription-medication addiction before filming the final season.
Fans of the show will be treated to an exclusive first look of footage from the final season next Thursday, ahead of MTV's annual Video Music Awards.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)