"Jersey Shore" producer eyes southern spin-off
By James Hibberd
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The producer of "Jersey Shore" is teaming with Comedy Central for her next partygoing reality show.
Sally Ann Salsano's 495 Prods. is shooting footage for a proposed series billed as a more comedic, Southern version of her "Jersey" format.
The project's initial blind-casting notice, which included the promising working title "Party Down South," created a stir online a couple of months ago among fans of the MTV hit.
Since then, the project has found an unexpected home at Comedy Central, which has aired only a handful of bona fide reality shows including single-season efforts at the celeb reality "I'm With Busey" and competition show "Reality Bites Back."
Network sources said Salsano and the channel's executives realized that "Jersey" is only a couple of edits from being a flat-out comedy. They cautioned, however, that the intention isn't to do a stereotypical hick show.
"It's not 'Redneck Jersey Shore,'" an insider said. "We're looking to have viewers laughing with the cast, not at them. We want a cast of funny people with stories to tell."
With the project at an early stage, the network isn't ready to comment officially. Programing executives soon will decide whether to continue, which could mean a direct-to-series order.
Meanwhile, the casting guru behind "Jersey" and "Party," Doron Ofir of Popular Prods., has a few other "Jersey" offspring yet to be ordered.
The Los Angeles-set "Persian Version" is another working title for 495 Prods. in preliminary casting. Also, the company is pitching around town a Boston-based show called "Wicked Summer." Neither is expected to end up at MTV.
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