LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cable network MTV on Friday denied reports it was planning to recast Snooki, The Situation and other young stars of its hit reality show "Jersey Shore" about hard partying Italian-Americans.
The debut episode of the show's fourth season, which was shot in Florence, Italy, will air on August 4.
But on Friday, celebrity news outlets TMZ and US Weekly reported, based on anonymous sources, that MTV will recast the show after the stars finish shooting season five, in a reported cost-cutting measure.
MTV quickly denied the reports.
"We love the present cast and their summer adventures have just begun," an MTV spokesperson said in a statement. "We currently have no plans to recast the show."
"Jersey Shore" made an immediate splash when it debuted in 2009 and went on to become a U.S. pop culture phenomenon and MTV's biggest ever series. Last season was watched by some 7.9 million U.S. viewers a week.
The show stars Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Jenni "Jwoww" Farley -- all of whom have negotiated spin-off deals for other projects. They are known for all-night parties, sexual conquests and sometimes jaw-dropping antics.
The mostly Italian-American cast was transplanted to Florence, Italy, for season four.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant