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Writer Says MTV Stole His Idea for “Jersey Shore”

Is America ready for the gritty side of Guidos?

Writer and producer Christopher Gambale thinks so – and his new show “Guidos” will give audiences a peek at the darker half of the hot tub.

Back in November, we reported that Gambale planned to sue MTV for ripping off “Guidos: A Reality Series,” the pitch he registered with the Writers Guild of America in 2006 and submitted to MTV programming exec Tony DiSanto.

Gambale told us then that he thought MTV had made “cotton candy” of his idea by allegedly turning his dark premise into the watered-down hit reality series “Jersey Shore.”

His lawyer plans to file suit in the next two weeks. In the meantime, Gambale is moving forward with plans to develop a show based on his original “Guidos” vision.

For Gambale’s real-life Guidos, the club is a haven, but “as soon as they go home, it’s misery,” he says.

Their lives are rife with drug abuse, violence and poverty. “They can barely afford their tanning subscriptions,” he adds.

Rather than contrive a vacation-house setup, “Guidos” will follow its subjects documentary-style.

“You’re gonna wake up with these guys hungover,” Gambale says. “You’re gonna go with the girl to get her abortion.” He explains he’s seeking a gritty feel similar to the Larry Clark-directed “Kids.”

Gambale says he has found a backer in longtime collaborator Steven Meyer, with whom he recently worked on the Holocaust documentary “Buried Prayers.”

The two plan to hold a casting call in early February at Capri, a Bay Ridge disco that’s been a hot spot since the ’70s.

If all goes well, shooting will begin in Brooklyn in April. “We may go to Staten Island if we have to,” says Gambale, who’s seeking candidates who “work construction or deliver pizza, not rich kids with gelled hair from the suburbs.” Recreational Guidos, as he calls them.

Five guys and five girls would yield a season’s worth of material, with each Guido or Guidette’s story to be told in a separate episode, then interwoven at the club. Gambale and Meyer say they see A&E, Bravo, Fox, and HBO as possible outlets.

Given Gambale’s planned legal action, they’ll be avoiding Viacom-owned networks. (An MTV spokeswoman declined to comment for this story.)

Gambale says he has an ex-MTV employee who will testify to practices that allegedly led to his idea getting lifted.

It’s not just the intellectual property issues that upset Gambale, however. He says he’s also angry MTV snagged his idea, then changed its tone.

“MTV stands for Moron TV,” he grouses.


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