CMT's popular 'Party Down South' moves to Athens from South Carolina

CMT's blatant copycat version of "The Jersey Shore" called "Party Down South" is moving its second season to Athens from the shores of South Carolina.

Production began this week. The Online Athens website reported the news yesterday - and this was not an April Fool's joke.

Athens-Clarke County mayor Nancy Denison tsk-tsked the production to the paper: “I’m terribly disappointed that this is being filmed in our community. There’s so much promise in that (TV) technology ... (but) we’ve sunk to the lowest level. It makes me worry about our society.”

(You can read up on plenty of quality TV, courtesy of UGA with its Peabody Awards here.)

The University of Georgia has had a long-standing reputation as a party school so this could prove to be a good match. Then again, its Princeton Review ranking as a party school has fallen in recent years, down to 11th place in 2013.

When "Party Down South" tried to move to Pensacola, Fla., there was a massive social media backlash so they quietly picked Athens instead. (And they get our tax credit breaks, too.)

"Jersey Shore and Party Down South are like the tv producers big inside joke of stereotyping us,” Pensacola residents Amber Kelley and Bri Snellgrove wrote in a Facebook post Feb. 27. “PDS makes a mockery of our Southern pride by showing adults who claim to have manners and then cut immediately to some of the worst behavior seen outside of a frat house.

None of the cast members are from Georgia: 31-year-old Josh Murray from Louise, Miss., 28-year-old Lyle Boudreaux from Lafayette, La., 33-year-old Ryan "Daddy" Richards from Orange Beach, Ala., 26-year-old Walt Windham from Frankfort, Ky., 21-year-old Lauren White from Pineville, La., 24-year-old Mattie Breaux from Gheens, La., 23-year-old Taylor "Lil Bit" Wright from Rockingham, N.C. and 25-year-old Tiffany Heinen from Eunice, La.

"Party Down South" is now CMT's most popular show and highest rated original series in its history. It's the same production company that created MTV's "Jersey Shore," which created its fair share of controversy and backlash from Jersey denizens. (Most of that cast wasn't even from Jersey.)

The show is set to return June 5.

A CMT spokeswoman declined to comment, saying they are not discussion locations yet at this time.


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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.