June 12, 2012 at 4:54 PM ET
Filming of the sixth season of "Jersey Shore" is under way, and so far, leaked stories from the "set" involve Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's pregnancy, a sober Mike"The Situation" Sorrentino and Deena Cortese's arrest for disorderly conduct. Now, comes news involving the bank accounts of those very people.
Turns out, it really pays well to party (or not, as the case may be). Perez Hilton reports that Snooki, Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio and The Situation are making $150,000 per episode of the show -- that's a cool $2.5 million for the season. Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola earn less -- $100,000 for JWoww, $90,000 for Vinny and $80,000 each for couple Ronnie and Sammi, according to Radar Online. Newest cast member, Deena, makes the least amount: $40,000 per episode.
MTV had no official comment on the cast salaries, and personal publicists for the show's reported top earners declined comment as well. However, a lawsuit filed in April lends credence to the purported six-figure salary. In paperwork filed by International Creative Management in a claim against DelVecchio, court documents state that he made $100,000 for each of season four's episodes (plus a $400,000 signing bonus) and was set to earn $175,000 per episode for season six.
"Pauly D, Snooki and The Situation make the most," a source close to the production told E!shortly after the documents revealing DelVecchio's salary went public. "It tiers down from that for the rest of the cast."
Merit-based salary increases are standard procedure in many fields, and of course television is one of them. The "Shore" kids started out as unknowns making $10,000 per episode, according to several industry insiders. So how do you explain more than a thousand percent raise since the show premiered in 2009? The short answer is ratings. "Jersey Shore" was cable's No. 1 series during its fifth season. Factoring in DVR playbacks, the season averaged 7.9 million total viewers per episode.
And if the idea that excessive drinking and tanning and bar brawling could earn someone so much money, take solace in this: Season six is said to be the last season for the original cast. On to "real" jobs, perhaps?
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