Sun Sets on MTV's 'Jersey Shore'

Jersey Shore

With nearly 4 million viewers an episode, MTV's reality show "Jersey Shore" became an instant hit and pop culture sensation. The seven Seaside Heights, N.J., house mates -- all self-proclaimed "guidos and guidettes" -- entertained and shocked viewers throughout the season with their antics and escapades.

"You've got this mixture of these over-the-top personalities, you throw in a little alcohol, a summer house, it's just a recipe for a really fun and wild show," said US Weekly columnist Lindsay Powers.

The Situation
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After a seven week run, the cast went out with a bang Thursday night, with the finale episode followed by a drama-filled reunion show. MTV has reportedly picked up the show for a second season.

But for the Italian-American cast members, "Jersey Shore" depicted everything they say a typical summer in the Garden State is about: hair gel, hook ups and the coveted, flawless tan.

From drunken brawls to fist pumps and catfights, the show was filled with unforgettable personalities and moments.

Watch the full story on "Nightline" TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET

"I had the best summer of my life," cast member "DJ Pauly D" said in the reunion episode. "Girls after girls after girls. That's the ideal summer for anybody."

The most memorable moment may be one that didn't even make it into the show when fan-favorite Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi got punched in the face at a bar.

Polizzi was hit by New York City gym teacher Brad Ferro, who was later found guilty of simple assault and was fined $500 and ordered to take an anger management course, according to Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas J. Boyd.

Producers tastefully blacked out the scene for the broadcast, but anyone following the show had probably already seen the viral video online from the promos.

Countless parodies of the show have cropped up online, including "Little Jersey Shore," where kids in orange-face paint reenact the nightclub scene. There's even a "Jersey Shore" nickname generator, where you can enter your name, gender, and get a Seaside-inspired nickname, like "D-Muscle," or "The Incident."

'Jersey Shore' Cast Cashes In

The show's success has catapulted the cast members into stars. They've appeared on late-night shows, been the brunt of "Saturday Night Live" parodies, and made appearances on MTV's New Year's Eve special.

Fans can cozy up to housemates for a price. A night of fist pumping with 28-year-old Mike Sorrentino, who goes by "The Situation" because of his chiseled abdominal muscles, reportedly costs $7,500. Same goes for a romp in the hot tub with Polizzi, or a night with "Pauly D."

Jenni "JWoww" Farley recently launched her own line of "sexy sophisticated" clothing, debuting tops with plunging necklines that don't leave much of anything to the imagination.

But the show has not been without its share of controversy. Italian-American groups and New Jersey tourism officials say the show is awash with inaccuracies, many of which they fear give the Italian community and the vacation destination a bad rap.

Term 'Guido' Angers Italian-American Groups

The willingness of the eight 20-somethings sharing a Jersey Shore summer house to classify themselves as "guidos" has drawn the ire of groups that consider the term offensive.

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