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BY DERRIK J. LANG
AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES--The clock is ticking for "Jersey Shore."
The boozy reality TV series about self-proclaimed "guidos" and "guidettes" cohabiting in a run-down Seaside Heights, N.J., party house is winding down with its sixth--and MTV promises final--season.
It's been almost three years since it debuted and became a pop-cultural situation--spawning catchphrases, punch lines, hairdos and tabloid fodder.
Don't remind the show's cast. They're not quite ready for their 15 minutes of fame to end.
"That was the longest 15 minutes of my life!" Ronnie Ortiz-Magro boasted during a recent interview with pals.
"We got, like, a half hour," joked Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio.
What began as yet another MTV reality show--"The Real World" with fist-pumping Italian-American 20-somethings--became one of the network's biggest hits.
Over the past five seasons, the Thursday night show dominated Nielsen ratings, drawing as many as 8 million viewers and consistently ranking as the No. 1 cable series in the 12- to 34-year-old demographic.
As the popularity of "Jersey Shore" grew, so did disdain for the series documenting the drunken antics of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and company.
Italian-American anti-defamation groups lashed out at "Jersey Shore" for its stereotypical portrayals.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie once deemed it "negative for New Jersey."
Despite the continued unapologetic success of the series, MTV announced this summer that the sixth edition would be the last call for the "Jersey Shore" cast and crew, who fled winter for Miami Beach in the second season and traveled to Italy for the fourth edition.
It's a bittersweet moment for the tanned troupe, who have no interest in fading out of the spotlight.
"Everything has to come to an end," said DelVecchio. "'Sopranos' ended. 'Entourage' ended. 'Jersey Shore' has to end. It's only a chapter of our lives. Now, another chapter of our lives is opening. We're just gonna use that tool. Whoever is smart enough to make the right decisions will make it last forever. That's the name of the game: making it last forever."
What: "Jersey Shore" When: Thursdays at 10 p.m. Where: MTV