NEW YORK (CBS) Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino can now call himself a $5 million dollar party animal.
As the second season of MTV's hit show "Jersey Shore" continues to be the biggest ratings draw for the network in seven years, its breakout star Sorrentino (a.k.a. The Situation) has jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on his fame. By year's end, Sorrentino stands to earn more than $5 million, according to published reports.
A source familiar with his finances told The Hollywood Reporter that by the end of the year the 29-year-old stands to earn more than $5 million.
"We are really excited about all the opportunities coming Mike's way," said Sorrentino's manager, Mike Petolino of Gotham Entertainment. "He has been able to secure many endorsement deals, business opportunities and additional television offers based on the success of the show. Our goal has always been to try to build a brand if the situation presented itself."
Amid hefty and much-publicized salary negotiations for Season 3, the source confirmed that Sorrentino is earning close to $60,000 an episode after bonus incentives, based on ratings, and event-appearance fees from $15,000-$50,000 (which will bring him $1 million this year alone).
The New York native, who also has over 175,000 Twitter followers, also has developed several products based on his much-touted six-pack: an abs-focused fitness video, "The Situation Workout," and a chewable supplement line distributed in association with GNC. He even has a "GTL" app (which stands for the "Shore's" catchphrase "Gym Tan Laundry") and a rap song on iTunes. He has further endorsements with Vitamin Water and Reebok and a deal for a clothing line with Dilligaf.
Petolino also confirmed that Sorrentino might be appearing on the big screen; he has been in talks with production companies to appear in various feature projects.
Sorrentino's newfound riches are a long time coming for the reality star who reportedly filed for unemployment in the state of New Jersey on Oct. 25, 2009, just five weeks before the first episode of MTV's "Jersey Shore" aired, according to the New York Daily News, who reported it's unclear whether Sorrentino ever received a check. But he certainly doesn't need one now.
"If you are a non-celebrity on a reality show, you are given an opportunity," said entertainment attorney Steven Katleman of Greenberg Traurig. "It's a platform. You have to use it intelligently."