PITTSBURGH - If Snooki and JWoww need a place to live, Jersey Shore will welcome them with open arms.
Jersey Shore, Pa., that is.
The Central Pennsylvania Film Office wants the stars of MTV's "Jersey Shore" reality show to go to the tiny borough in north-central Pennsylvania or to nearby Williamsport to shoot a planned spinoff of their gym-tan-laundry lifestyle.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi poses for a portrait in New York.
SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
Crowds line a Jersey Shore street during a Town Meeting festival. If the Central Pennsylvania Film Office has its way, two hard-partying reality TV stars would be walking these same streets.
The commissioner of the film office, Lorena Beniquez, was quick to jump on the news that officials in Hoboken, N.J., had refused to issue a permit for the new reality show that will feature hard-partying stars Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww" Farley.
So, Beniquez thought, why not invite the "Jersey Shore" stars to the borough of the same name about 140 miles northwest of Philadelphia and only slightly farther than that from Hoboken? Failing that, Beniquez is hoping the producers might consider shooting in Williamsport, the Lycoming County seat.
"Most of the time, when we make headlines, it's for the Little League World Series," Beniquez said, referring to the global tournament played in Williamsport each summer. "Or the gas industry. We want to be known for something once the gas industry is done and gone."
A phone call and an email seeking comment were left with 495 Productions, the Beverly Hills, Calif., production company that was snubbed by Hoboken.
But MTV said it was "flattered by the invitation" to Pennsylvania.
"We love all Jersey Shores!" it said.
Officials in Williamsport, population 29,000, and Jersey Shore, which has about 4,300 residents, say they're all ears if MTV or the production company wants to pitch the show to them.
"It would be fun to have the spotlight on the borough," said Jersey Shore Borough Manager Gretchen Speicher. "But we'd like to know what the show's going to be about, will it be shot inside or outside ... and I would like to know because I've never seen ('Jersey Shore')."
Williamsport City Clerk Janet Frank was excited at the prospect, too.
"Oh, my gosh, yes," Frank said when asked if she'd be interested in hearing a pitch for the show. "I think that's awesome. I think that's a great idea. It's a great way to get attractions here."
Hoboken officials refused to issue the permit that would allow the reality stars to be filmed around the clock, citing public safety and other concerns. Some critics have said "Jersey Shore" perpetuates negative Italian-American stereotypes that are sometimes referred to as the "guido/guidette" lifestyle.
Some local historians think the Jersey Shore borough got its name because some of its original settlers in the early 1800s were from the Jersey shore, Speicher said. Others say Jersey used to mean "opposite" and the borough was so named because it was across the Susquehanna River from another settlement, Speicher said.
Whatever the case, Beniquez said she believes the show focusing on the two reality TV stars would work in Lycoming County, one of nine served by her office.
"From what we've heard in their press," Beniquez said, "it sounds like it could be a good fit for our region."