1.Forty Shore: They may be 40, but they party likethey’re 20.2. My show is a matured version of the MTV hit Jersey Shore. Like Jersey Shore, Forty Shorewill feature eightNew Jersey natives living in a shore house for the summer, but there’sa catch-- they’re in their forties. All cast members are between the ages of 38-44. Someare married with children, some are divorced, and some are still single, having nevergrown up, but one thing they have in common is they’re all here to have a good timeand relive those “glory days.” The house will be in the more family-friendly PointPleasant beach instead of Seaside, but will still follow the cast as they hit the bars,beach, and boardwalk.3. Jersey Shore all grown up. Eight people who all used to vacation at the Jersey shore intheir younger years reunite in a summer rental for one last hoorah. Is this the end ofwhat used to be or only the beginning of the next chapter?4. Forty Shore is a reality-based series, with a mix of drama and comedy. While its goal is toentertain, it also aims to inspire, proving that sometimes age really is “just a number.”Who says just because you’re 40 you can’t party like you’re 20? There’s no age limit onhaving a good time and it’s never too late to find love, settle down, live it up, or startover.5. Forty Shore will follow the standard reality TV format, with the eight participantsbehaving as they normally would, not acknowledging that there is a cast and crewpresent. Think of MTV’s Real World and Jersey Shore. There will be some cameramenfollowing the cast when they go out, but there will also be cameras set up in every roomof the shore house (except the bathroom) in order to catch the true emotions andbehaviors of these eight people when they really don’t realize there are cameraspresent. My show will be part documentary as it gives a brief history of the cast, tellingus who they are and how they’re connected to one another. It will also beentertainment as we witness the expected drunk and sloppy behaviors that happenafter a night of partying hard at the Jersey shore. At the same time, the show will appealto our emotions as a TV drama would, when we hear some of the hardships the cast hasexperienced since they last were together twenty years earlier. The audience will betouched when they see the chronically-single Mike finally want to settle down andchange his ways after seeing the beautiful families a few of his roommates have. Theywill also be inspired when they one divorced couple re-live their younger years andrelieve some of that tension that destroyed their marriage, possible reconnecting andstarting over. It’s never too late to find love, happiness, and most importantly, have fun!6. The show will open on location, taking place at the Jersey Shore in Point Pleasant, NewJersey—there will still be the beach, boardwalk, and bars, just a slightly older, more
mature scene than what you find in Seaside Heights. Then it will cut to an introductionof the eight roommates, filming them as they pack at their homes. They will allintroduce themselves, noting their occupation, age, marital status, and talking abouttheir history at the Jersey shore and what it means to them. All of them are NJ nativeswho spent many summers at the shore. The cast will live in a large house on the baysideof the beach. Instead of a hot tub, there will be a pool, instead of the “smush room”there is a play room for when children come to visit.The cast will consist of eight people, all from New Jersey. They will all be between theages of 38-44. There will be one married couple, one divorced couple, one “foreversingle” guy, one “forever single” girl, one widower, and a single mom. Some castmembers already know each other very well, while the others have only ran into eachother when vacationing at the Jersey shore, either with their families or their singleparty friends. Some cast members have children, who will be allowed to visit whenevertaping isn’t scheduled.The show will document these eight people in their forties and late thirties) as they livein a shore house together for 8 weeks (from July 1st to August 31st). Some will relivetheir “glory” days before they settled down and started a family, some will be lookingfor love, and some will be rethinking their whole life plan. Will the party animals finallydecide to settle down or are they destined to be single forever? You’ll just have to watchand find out…7. EPISODE 1: Meet the Cast—The series opens with the eight roommates leaving theirhomes and arriving at their summer beach house in Point Pleasant, NJ. They arrive atthe house one at a time and go in having no idea who their roommates will be. Somecast members will be happy to see faces they recognize from their younger years at theshore. Others will be less-than-thrilled when they learn one of their roommates is theirex-husband or wife. If their relationship failed the last time, how could it possibly workliving under the same roof for two months? Watch to see the drama unfold.EPISODE 2: And the Drama Begins—This episode is filled with drama. It’s the secondnight in the house and the roommates throw a backyard barbecue to break the ice andget to know each other as they are today. The drinking gets out of control and what’ssupposed to be a fun and relaxing evening turns into a night of name-calling and bottle-throwing. It’s only day two and already two of the roommates want out…EPISODE 3: Remember When—The roommates have spent the past week together andin this episode they reminisce about the summers they spent bar-hopping and strollingthe boardwalk back in their “younger years.” Some house mates recall their fondestmemories taking place at the Jersey shore. For some, those were their best years, whilefor others they were the worst… This episode brings the house together and gives theaudience a first glimpse of a family dynamic. The family bonding occurs mostly over
Sunday dinner. Like on Jersey Shore, Sunday dinner is the one meal that brings everyonetogether, despite their hectic schedules.EPISODE 4: Family Matters—It’s been a week and a half of filming and finally the cast isable to see their family. Today is the day those who have children, get to see them andcatch up. (While the kids are not filmed, the cameras do catch the roommates’ strongemotions as they must say goodbye again.) In this episode the audience is likely todevelop a soft spot for single parents Molly and Gus. For years they’ve had to raise theirkids on their own, having them at their side 24/7, so being away from them for this longunderstandably takes a toll on the single devoted parents.EPISODE 5: An Unlikely Friendship—In this episode, a new (and surprising) friendshipforms emerges between house enemies Teresa and Jackie. The two bond over a day atthe beach. It just goes to show what an enjoyable day of sand and sun can do. It’s hardto be mad when you’re listening to the ocean and soaking up the sunshine!EPISODE 6: Ladies Night—This episode follows the women on their first night out as agroup. They go o Martell’s Tiki Bar and have a few too many shots. The result? Notpretty…one cast member ends up on the bar and flashes the entire place…one ends upcheating on her significant other…and none of the ladies can remember a thing in themorning.EPISODE 7: Boys Night Out—After the girls had their fun, the guys get jealous and wanttheir own night out. This episode shows them at their night out in Karma in SeasideHeights—the “trashier” part of the shore. The women are disgusted because they knowthe men are going out looking for trouble. If you thought the ladies were out of control,wait ‘til you see the men…one cast member ends up in the “Seaside slammer.” Just likethe good old days…8. FINAL EPISODE: See you later—This is their last night in the house but it is not goodbye.When these eight people entered the house at the beginning of the summer they werevirtually strangers—they knew each other as 21-year-olds, but lost touch over the yearsand knew nothing about the people they’d all become. However, one summer changedthat. All eight roommates formed a family. Some flames rekindled—it turns one coupleheld resentment for settling down too young and not getting to “live life” in theirtwenties. This summer gave them a second chance to finally do everything they’dmissed out on. Now that they had nothing to regret, their relationship reformed,stronger and better than ever. New love formed as well—we see a new couple betweensingle parents Molly and Gus, who leave the house together. Party animal Mike hasfinally grown up and we end the season with him quitting his job as a bartender andputting his Bachelor’s degree in finance to work. All the roommates exchanged phonenumbers and addresses and all will be back next summer, to relive those “glory days.”When it comes to summer at the Jersey shore, age really is just a number.
9. More recently, researchers have taken an interest in reality television programming andwhat it is that makes it so popular, why they feel people may be tuning in each week.The following articles explore the elements of reality TV and provide evidence as to whymy own reality show, Forty Shore would be successful.MinnaAslama (2006) explored the emotion portrayed in reality TV in her article “TalkingAlone.” Aslama focuses specifically on the “confessionals” featured in many realityshows, such as Real World and even Jersey Shore, where one cast mate will go into aroom and speak intimately with the camera. Aslama’s research claims that the mainreason viewers tune in is to see these “true emotions” on tape. Aslama also explores theauthenticity of the emotions we see on reality shows. It is noted in the article that whilethese reality show participants may very well be experiencing real feelings, whetherfrom a breakup on TV or another devastating situation, the participants are often placedinto the situations artificially. For example, on The Bachelor, the woman who is senthome may be asked a certain question or told something to get her all worked upbefore she steps in the limo. Yes, she is probably very upset, but may not have brokendown on camera if producers hadn’t been in here ear. But regardless of how authenticthese emotions are, viewers will still tune in to see these once private momentsdisplayed on screen.In the article “Making the Most Out of 15 Minutes: Reality TV’s Dispensable Celebrity,”Sue Collins (2008) talks about the new face of celebrities—ordinary people who playthemselves on reality shows. These contestants go into it as an average Joe, getting paidvery little, having never been heard of before, but when the show’s over, they’vevirtually become a celebrity—they’re a household name, get recognized, and can nowmarket themselves as a brand. (Think Jersey Shore’sSnooki. She got a spinoff series, atrademark Halloween costume, slipper line, and the ultimate celeb status.) Collins alsopoints out some problems with reality TV and their practice of hiring cheap, non-unionized labor. The problem is these reality shows are setting up in cities where unionsdepend on work and then giving it to nonunionized laborers, taking away their jobs. Thiswas a big problem in 2004’s season of MTV’s Real World Philadelphia, where MTV hadto get rid of their nonunionized workers because the unions claimed Philly as theirterritory. In this way, reality TV is also changing the economy, giving jobs to one group,while taking them from another.Some research also suggests people watch reality TV for the element of drama and onereason many reality shows are popular is because they follow the soap opera format fortheir narratives and formal structures. Also, many reality programs are localized in thatthey show elements of the culture of the target audience. In this case, people tune inbecause it is something recognizable and similar to them, therefore making it appealing.That is what Graeme Turner (2005) focuses on in the article “Cultural Identity, Soap
Narrative, and Reality TV.” Turner points out that the trend of transnational realityprograms, such as Big Brother, are also a threat to localized programs like telenovela inLatin America. Before these transnational programs, the one thing smaller localizedformats had was their cultural identity with the audience, drawing them in. With realityprograms molding themselves to different audiences across the globe, this brings animmediate threat to other programming. In this case, the success of reality TV is badnews for the other formats.Beck, Hellmueller, and Aeschbacher (2013) further emphasize the success of reality TVin their article “Factual Entertainment and Reality TV,” pointing out that the success ofthe reality format is not short-lived, as it has been around since the first season ofMTV’s Real world back in 1992. Millions of viewers tune in to the various genres ofreality TV, whether it be the competition format seen in American Idol and Top Model orthe documentary/entertainment format found in Jersey Shore.Jersey Shore is also notedas a prime example of ordinary people achieving celebrity status after appearing on areality show. The “authenticity” of these real people in real situations (in this casegetting drunk and sloppy in Seaside Heights,) draws viewers in. They like seeing peoplewho they can relate to go about their lives. The viewers like to see unscriptedentertainment and emotion, which they may feel doesn’t exist on other programming.The article points out that reality shows, such as Jersey Shore specifically, introduce“new terms, acronyms, and phrases in to American pop culture.” Thanks to these“guidos and guidettes” our culture now has “GTL” as a lifestyle.Patino, Kaltcheva, and Smith (2011) focus specifically on why younger audiences aredrawn into reality TV, in their article “The Appeal of Reality Television for Teen and Pre-Teen Audiences.” The article noted that these young viewers are drawn in due toconnectedness, the “level of intensity of the relationship(s) that a viewer develops withthe characters and contextual settings of a program in the para-social televisionenvironment.” They found that viewers who valued physical attractiveness were moredrawn in to reality TV, but there was no correlation between reality TV viewing andacademic achievement. This means that regardless of how well teens and pre-teens doin school, they are just as likely to watch reality TV if the characters have somethingthey can relate to. This study was done to also help advertisers in choosing their productplacement, since they now know young people of both sexes and varying academicstandings are watching reality TV.Lastly, Curnutt (2011) further explores reality TV’s practice of casting ordinary people intheir shows in the article “Durable Participants: A generational approach to reality TV’s‘ordinary’ labor pool.” Curnutt points out that while these shows aim to portray the livesof regular everyday people, they are selective in their process. These shows knowexactly what type of character they’re looking for before they begin their search, so the
contestants aren’t exactly your average Joe, but rather a specific type of Joe. Curnett’sarticle also explains that there is a generation gap between reality TV talent. In the firstgeneration of reality TV, participants were a result of “experimentation,” in that theyreally were randomly chosen just as ordinary people being themselves. However, due tothe increasingly high demand of reality programming, the second generation of realityTV participants reflect an “industrial standard.” In other words, today the process ofselecting participants in not random, but calculated. Producers look at successfulcharacters from previous shows and set out to find people like them. They know exactlywhat type of person they are looking for, so if you want to be on these shows you mayhave to study these people, or “characters” and practice playing a role. It’s not as “real”as one may think.10. Forty Shore is Jersey Shore meets Real Housewives of New Jersey, two shows which eachbroke records in their ratings. Due to Jersey Shore’s success early on, the cast was ableto triple their salary by the third season. With each of them making about $30,000dollars per episode, the NY Post noted this was MTV’s biggest show since TheOsbournes. The cast’s salaries continued to rise from there. (NY Post) Reported on InsideTV, the series returned that season with 8.4 million viewers, making it MTV’s most-watched series telecast of all time. (Inside TV)Real Housewives of New Jersey also brokerecords with their third-season premiere, making it the best premiere in Bravo networkhistory. (Examiner) With my show being a cross between the two, I am confident itwould also bring in high ratings.11. Aslama, M. (2006) Talking Alone: reality TV, emotions and authenticity, EuropeanJournal of Cultural Studies, 9, 2, 167-186.Beck, D., Hellmueller, L., Aeschbacher, N. (2012) Factual Entertainment and Reality TV,Communication Research Trends, 31, 2, 4-23.Collins, S. (2008) Making the Most out of 15 Minutes: Reality TV’s Dispensable Celebrity,Television & New Media, 9, 2, 87-110.Curnutt, H. (2011) Durable participants: A generational approach to reality TV’s‘ordinary’ labor pool, Media, Culture & Society, 33, 7, 1061-1076.Patino, A., Kaltcheva, V., Smith, M. (2011) The Appeal of Reality Television For Teen andPre-Teen Audiences, Journal of Advertising Research, 51, 1, 288-297.Turner, G. (2005) Cultural Identity, Soap Narrative, and Reality TV, Television & NewMedia, 6, 4, 415-422.