You can now put away your concerns and breathe a sigh of relief, the cast of Jersey Shore will no longer have to live the Dickensian existence in which they toiled for the last three seasons. Instead, they will have some serious discretionary income for their trip to Italy.

MTV has struck a deal with the eight ‘core’ members of the show, ensuring them $100,000 per episode for the upcoming fourth season.

Reportedly, before the fourth season of Jersey Shore could even begin filming in Italy, MTV was forced into another round of negotiations with Snooki, JWoww, Pauly D, The Situation…and those other guys. The group, undoubtedly well aware of the publicity and ratings they bring to the cable network, held up the planned trip overseas by asking for more money, which they have now received.

That’s right, after being balked at for entering into negotiations that earned them a meager $10,000 per episode for season 2, then $30,000 an episode for season 3, the eight primary cast members of MTV’s cash cow have finally managed to pull off a staggering six-figure amount for their European endeavor next season. Lets also keep in mind that each season is somewhere in the 13 episode range, so just do the math on that one.

More astonishing than the sum of money the network is shelling out to essentially film kids drink, tan, and work on their hair, is the fact that MTV may still be holding the long end of the stick. Jersey Shore is a ratings goldmine for the cable channel, regularly winning its timeslot and besting other top-rated cable shows like History channel’s Pawn Stars and American Pickers. And, as evidenced by the recently announced spin-offs featuring a solo Pauly D, and another show following Snooki and JWoww, that amount of success is not one MTV is interested in saying “arrivederci” to anytime soon.

For most of the core eight, the salary they earn (or earned) off previous seasons of Jersey Shore came in a distant second to the kind of scratch they were bringing in through supplementary deals like endorsements and appearances. The kids from Jersey have endorsed everything from bronzer, to weight loss supplements, to vodka, to Wrestlemania 27 – all to the tune of millions of dollars each.

That means putting the cast in a different tax bracket was likely an easy decision for MTV. By putting down more cash upfront, the network ensures its cast will continue to show up, and not hightail it in favor of more immediate revenue streams.

They may appear to be an uncouth bunch of bronzed youngsters, but the cast of Jersey Shore apparently have enough business smarts to realize the gravy-train isn’t going to stick around forever – so they best get all they can while the getting is good.

Season 4 of Jersey Shore will air on MTV sometime in 2012.

Source: Entertainment Weekly