SallyAnn Salsano is the source of all that is good in the world. Namely, Jersey Shore. As the creator of the show that became a breakout hit for MTV, her 495 Productions is tackling the very timely topic of debt with Repo Games on Spike TV (Season 2 premieres tonight at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Spike).
In an exclusive interview, Wetpaint Entertainment talked with Jersey Shore’s original champion about how she manages to connect so well with young people through television, and she cleared up a few rumors about Jersey Shore Season 6 “phasing out” Snooki and The Situation.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What is your secret to connecting with young people on TV?
SallyAnn Salsano: Being honest. Not sugar coating and not lying. I think that kids are on to it, and are aware. Back in the day when we all grew up on scripted television, it was, “Oh it’s just a story.” I watched [Beverly Hills] 90210 like it was my job as a kid. But I always knew it wasn’t real, it was just more of a soap opera.
And I think kids today … people say, “Why do so many people watch reality TV?” I think it’s what they know. And people would rather say, “Oh my god I’m in this situation, that’s what she did, I would never do that.” They’ve seen someone do it and they know it wasn’t fake. It wasn’t just a 50-year-old guy in a room that wrote down that sentence and said, “Here’s what I think a teenager would do.” It’s actually what a teenager would do. Right, wrong, indifferent, it’s what they did. [On Repo Games], aside from the line, “Welcome to Repo Games,” that’s it. Anything beyond that is as real as it comes.
How do you plan on working around Snooki’s pregnancy and The Situation’s sobriety on Jersey Shore Season 6?
I’m not going to work around it. The thing is, on reality TV, you don’t work around anything, you include it. And that’s part of the honesty thing. Like Snooki’s pregnant, I’m not going to have her carry a big purse for five weeks at the Shore and not show it. It’s essentially part of the show. No matter what happens, we’re going to show it. We’re going to be there. We’re shooting [JWOWW and Snooki’s] spin-off right now, and it’s very much a part of what’s going on.
Will Season 6 be the final season?
I don’t know, I wish I had a crystal ball. I don’t know what I would do personally every summer if I don’t spend it at the Shore at this point. For the past four years that’s all I’ve done. The Shore has become part of my blood, so I’ll be there with or without the show I feel like.
Would you move forward with a new cast?
I don’t think of anything, I think what the network tells me to do is what I think. In the end, I don’t know where that [rumor] came from, but not from us.
You’re saying you don’t know where that rumor came from?
No! It’s like asking a mother, “Do you think you’re going to get some different kids and switch them out?” I love them. We’re like one big dysfunctional family, both in front of the camera and behind. So for me, no, I’m not getting rid of any of my kids.
Read more about Snooki’s pregnancy.
Catch the next new episode of The Pauly D Project on Thursday, March 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on MTV and be sure to check out SallyAnn’s new show, Repo Games, tonight on Spike at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
For more on Jersey Shore, Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.