'Jersey Shore's' creator on the cast's reported $100K per episode salary: 'Let the kids get paid'

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Whether you believe the "Jersey Shore" cast is worth the reported $100,000 an episode salary they've just negotiated for Season 4 in Italy, MTV is paying up. And the woman who brought the series to our TV sets approves.

"Look, if the show's successful, let the kids make money," series creator SallyAnn Salsano tells Zap2it. "If the show stops and the ratings go down, their salaries all go down."

In Season 3, the reality series about a crew of "guidos" and "guidettes" spending their summer at The Shore is still sitting pretty. It remained MTV's No. 1 rated program and its season finale attracted 7.6 million viewers. 

To give you an idea of how lucrative it is to be on this cast, Season 4 in Italy is slated for about 13 episodes. Add the millions of dollars the cast makes on endorsements, appearances, book deals and clearly it forces us to reexamine our life choices.

So, if the show is making the network billions and making the show's execs rich, why shouldn't the cast take its share in the spoils? The same would go for other TV stars on highly rated shows, movie stars who attract box office attendance, and professional athletes who fill stadiums and win championships, right?

"I think it's so funny, because I think everyone always reports there's a big stand-off with the cast, and it's a big face-off," Salsano says. "It's never been that way. I think negotiations on 'Jersey Shore' have always been friendly and amicable, and I think it's a testament to Viacom and MTV that like when they're making money, the kids are making money, and I think it kind of goes full circle."

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Whether the negotiations are amicable or not, some (we're looking you at you Jersey natives) have wondered why MTV even bothers to negotiate with the cast every season when supposedly kids like them are a dime a dozen down at The Shore. Salsano tells us that may have more to do with viewers than the cast.

"I grew up going to the Jersey shore," the New Jersey native tells us. "Yeah, there are a ton of these kids out there, for sure. I think that right now, America is in love with these kids. If that changes, by any stretch of the imagination, can there be a new crop? Can 'Jersey Shore' be like 'Real World' and can there be a new group of people? Sure, I absolutely believe that there can be. But for right now, I wouldn't have it any other way. America's latched on to these kids."

Do you think the "Jersey Shore" cast deserve their high salaries for Season 4?
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images; MTV