The upcoming sixth season of MTV's flagship reality series Jersey Shore will (mercifully) be its last.

The show, which premiered in December 2009, has seen a steady drop in viewership over the last few seasons from a third series record-setting high of 8.8 million, Variety reported today, so MTV has made the decision to cancel it in order to "market it as the last, hoping that viewers who may have turned away will return to say goodbye."

A special one-hour retrospective entitled "Gym, Tan, Look Back" will air September 6th ahead of the 2012 Video Music Awards. The final season itself will premiere October 4th at 10/9c.

Though the show that launched a thousand fist pumps is sailing off into the suntan, that by no means means MTV is bidding farewell to its cash cows.

JWoww and new mom Snooki are slated to return with a second season of their spin-off show, and the Pauly D Project could also get a second-season pick-up. MTV's VP of programming Chris Linn told Entertainment Weekly a Snooki-Jionni wedding special could also be in the cards.

[photo via MTV]