“Jersey Shore” is heading for Italy in an audacious attempt by MTV to lure Italo auds with subtitled guidos and guidettes.The anthropologically charged experiment in cross-cultural TV exportation will kick off March 22, when the first season of the hit reality skein, which follows the adventures of the “juice boxes” and spray-on tanned femmes of young beach-loving Italian-Americans, will begin airing for young Italian-Italians on MTV Italia in a 10 p.m. slot. Unlike the U.S. and elsewhere in Europe, MTV airs on free TV in Italy, giving “Jersey Shore” a potential Italo aud of 20 million-plus households. Also, there are no Italian-American advocacy groups to raise a ruckus over use of the word “guido,” which in Italy is just an ordinary name and has no other possible connotations. At least not yet. MTV Italia, which is keeping mum on the matter, nonetheless is tubthumping the skein as having the “most famous Italoamericans in the world” as protags. So how will “Jersey Shore” play on Italian shores, where experts blame cultural reasons tied to national identity for the fact that “The Sopranos” never really clicked on free TV? Corriere della Sera, which is Italy’s leading daily newspaper, commented that “as if the boors on ‘Big Brother’ weren’t enough, now we are importing a reality show that even boosts our country’s bad name.” But the truth is Italians actually can’t get enough of “Big Brother.” More than 7 million Italo viewers recently tuned in to watch Mauro Marin win the 10th Italo edition of “Brother” on Mediaset, with local critics applauding the fact that Marin was the only contestant (male or female) in the house without protruding pecs. That’s the situation. Or, the Situation, for “Jersey Shore” aficonados. Which bodes well for the odds that “Jersey Shore” will become a hit in Italy. “I will be checking it out. The trash level at times soars so high that it becomes truly sublime,” vowed an early Italo convert on tvblog.it.
Data provided by:Nielsen Media Research (Preliminary Results)