Last Updated May 21, 2010 3:23 PM EDT
On June 1st a countdown will begin. When Jersey Couture, a reality show about a feisty Italian family who own a gown shop, hits the airwaves on the Oxygen cable channel, the sand will start running out on the trend towards chronicling the misadventures of those teased, tanned, mini-skirted, and manicured denizens of the Garden State.
The program is the caboose on a runaway gravy train that is the Guido craze: on MTV you'll find Situation snuggling up to Snooki and her bootylicious posse for a second summer on Jersey Shore, while the hair and nails, err claws, come out as the catty stylists of Gatsby Salon bicker on Style Network's Jerseylicious. Over on TLC, Buddy the Cake Boss, presides over his Hoboken pastry shop. And let's not forget the show responsible for starting the whole she-bang: Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey -- whose debut last year was the most-watched first season of the Housewives franchise.
The trend has created a raft of spin-off goods too including two book deals, one in which Jenni "Jwoww" Farley and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro explain how to handle all aspects of life (think nightlife, hair, nails, tanning, the gym) with Jersey Shore-laced wisdom and another titled simply, The Guido Manifesto. Jwoww is also hawking the body-conscious clothing she sports in the clubs, there's logowear available for Cake Boss and "fashions" from the Real Housewives.
What gives? "People are just recognizing that Jersey is really a great place," Gayle Giacomo, of Jerseylicious fame told the NJ Star-Ledger. "New York, they have their own little state, and there's excitement there all the time, but the newness of New Jersey is just for people who really aren't from anyplace near New Jersey."
That's fine madame, but wait until the novelty wears off. And it will. Just look at a couple of the latest trends which were once the fast lane:
Dating -â€" The aforementioned networks are also responsible for the plethora of bachelor-finds-true-love reality shows in which hot-under-the-collar party kids compete in challenges to survive and "win" the chance to be with the guy/gal/failed rock star of their dreams. But with ABC's latest, Conveyor Belt of Love, it looks like the whole desperate morass would (finally) roll off into the sunset.
Cougars â€"- Ashton and Demi in real life spawned a host of TV shows and films including Courteney Cox's Cougar Town. You know it's bad when Newsweek declares it the Year of the Cougar, and that year was 2009. But in case some die-hards were not convinced, a new study indicating that older women have shorter life spans when they settle down with younger men should seal the deal.
So, come on network execs, go out and find a new trend. And don't just do it to save the masses of poor innocent viewers who are starting to think it might be a good idea to "live for tanning," as does Olivia on Jerseylicious. Do it to save yourselves â€"- from the sharp decline in ratings (and profits) that is sure to come.