Highs: MTV's Jersey Shore debuted on December 3, 2009 and became one of this past year's most popular shows, averaging 2.7 million viewers per week in the first season. The colorful cast and their questionable lexicon have for better or worse become part of our pop culture, and Barbara Walters even included them on her "Most Fascinating People" list for 2010. More than five million people tuned in for the season two premiere on July 29, and while most reality shows have one standout star, nearly all of the members of this cast have parlayed their television fame into lucrative pet projects within the fashion and music industries.
Lows: While the diva antics and club fights have boosted the show's ratings, several Italian American organizations have criticized MTV and the cast for their poor portrayal of the ethnic group. And in a July interview with ABC, Governor Chris Christie said the show was "negative" for New Jersey. The cast also reportedly had to end filming for season two early because their rowdy behavior denied them entrance to Miami nightclubs and bars.