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MTV Slams Writer -- We Didn't Rip Off 'Jersey Shore'

11/26/2010 10:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

MTV is blasting a screen writer who claims the network jacked his idea for "Jersey Shore" -- and just to prove they mean business ... they're dragging "My Cousin Vinny" into the fight.

The writer, Christopher Gambale, claims he came up with a show called "Guidos: The Reality Series" back in 2006 which would focus on "stereotypical guidos and guidettes" doing things like "GTL before hitting the clubs."

Dude says he pitched the idea to MTV ... but never got a response -- until he sent them a letter threatening to sue.

Now, MTV has fired off a letter of their own -- denying the accusations and insisting the portrayal of stereotypical Italians in Hollywood is nothing new ... citing examples like, "My Cousin Vinny," "Saturday Night Fever," and "Growing Up Gotti."

MTV also claims they've been in the business of guidos since 2004 -- when they ran a special called, "True Life: I'm a Jersey Girl" ... which featured "tan young men with spiked hair and tight shirts."

MTV is demanding Gambale better not file a lawsuit ... or else they'll hit him with all the legal firepower they've got. Gambale tells us he's not afraid.

Stay tuned.


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Brave man to take credited blame for that mess.
I believe him.
Team Gambale.

1427 days ago


I believe him as well.

Pursue this, Christopher. You have a legitimate cause of action here.

1427 days ago

media sucks    

Some things in life are true. Nazi's run the TSA. Ice cream is delicious. TMZ pushes hidden agendas. Government lies. Hollywood steals ideas. Never submit anything. Forget all this celebrity B.S. There are real things happening in the world, things that mean something. All people talk about these days is which hooker is on TMZ. Does it matter? Is this the trash that entertains the ignorant minds of today? Never trust a large media outlet, even if it is some B.S. hollywood rag.

1427 days ago


I believe him too. And I'm serious when I say who could come up with this idea from "cousin vinny," I hope he has the legal backing to make this stick. Good luck.

1427 days ago

Bubbles The Chimp    

TMZ, get your info written correctly. They are 'stereotypical Italian-Americans' not 'Italians'. As an Italian from Roma, we find these Jersey Shore idiots just that...Idiots. This writer guy probably is telling the truth. MTV sucks. They really need to change their name already. They are definitely not a music related anymore.

1427 days ago



1427 days ago


Umm, I have to defend MTV on this one. They came up with the idea when they filmed the episode of True Life, with the "where are my cheeseballs" guy. That was back in what, 2003-2004???

Sounds like a big, fat fail, Gambale... Now go get your shine box.

1426 days ago


it's not 'italians'!!! not every man who lives in italy acts like that. actually....i never knew one! those r dumasses people. i was born in rome and i still live here. peace!

1426 days ago


If u watch MTV True Life "I live at the Jersey Shore" You can see how they came up with the modern day Jersey Shore, and that first aired in 2002. I am with MTV with this one.

1426 days ago

Timothy M. Nolan    

I say sue MTV! I am with Gambale on this.

1426 days ago

Johnny Ola    

As a former MTV employee, I can attest that this happens all the time. This is no surprise here. I have personally witnessed show concepts and ideas blatantly ripped off from producers and ideas copied from international successes. The company is run like the wild west, they treat their workers like slaves, underpay them as if it is a privilege to work there. They also love to fire people when they get too old to fit in with the children. Besides this lawsuit which I do believe Gambale will win if it goes to court, MTV should be sued for age bias firings. Most likely they will pay this guy to go away and keep his mouth shut.

1426 days ago

Lord Rivas    

So if I wrote and developed a reality show about two teenage boys with funny names who watch music videos all day and blow up frogs and stuff for fun, I am to believe that MTV isn't gonna sue me? I mean certainly teenagers were doing stupid things before Beavis and Butthead.

1426 days ago

Johnny Ola    

If you pitched an idea to a specific executive, as what appears to be the case here, and later on they rip off your concept, using the EXACT name/format of your show, you have a right to sue. Nothing is 100% original. It's all recycled crap anyway. I've seen peoples ideas ripped off a whole lot of times. Most of the time they don't bother to sue. This guy must have some sick evidence on MTV or those lawyers wouldn't be backing him. Screw MTV, I'd love to help this guy and testify for him about what I know about their shady business practices.

1426 days ago


what a weak defence.

1426 days ago


Stupid that's why when you pitch a idea to a magor network alway wear a listening device incase something like this happens then you can rally shove it up thier asses...You think your the only one bullyed out of a idea...ALL THESE CORPORATIONS ARE LIKE SNAKES,,EAT THERE PREY WHOLE THEN SPITEM OUT....

1426 days ago
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