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UK ‘Skins’ Not As Controversial As In U.S.

Company Pictures, the Brit production company which makes Skins for MTV, is “extremely surprised” by the show’s U.S. furor. Especially as the first three seasons of the raunchier Brit version aired on BBC America virtually without controversy — albeit with nudity pixillated and swearing dipped. The Brit version has just started its 5th season. The UK original has also been freely available on the Internet. Execs has been scratching their heads because the first U.S. episode of Skins was almost a shot-for-shot remake of the UK original – but with the bad language and drugs references toned down from the British version which was far stronger in its depiction of drugs, sex, abortion, and self-harm. The show has never been that controversial here. A psychiatric charity complained about the depiction of a counsellor beating one teenager to death with a baseball bat. But Channel 4 only received 11 complaints. Not the show itself but the promos for the show have caused a little consternation. The UK broadcaster showed a pub brawl in a promo that sparked criticism. And the advertising watchdog Advertising Standards Authority banned a poster promoting the show, showing teenagers taking part in an orgy. The ASA said the image “could cause serious or widespread offence” and shouldn’t be seen by children. Read More »

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MTV’s ‘Skins’ Takes Ratings Dive In Week 2

By | Tuesday January 25, 2011 @ 1:09pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

All the media attention surrounding the controversial new MTV drama Skins didn’t convert into ratings, as the racy freshman drama was down sharply in its second airing last night. The series, which lost a number of advertisers since its premiere, drew 1.6 million viewers, less than half of the 3.3 million who tuned in for the debut last week when it had an original Jersey Shore as a lead-in. In the key 18-34 and 12-34 demographics, the show did a 1 rating vs. 2.7 last week and 1.4 vs 2.9 last week, respectively. Because of the show’s huge lead-in last week provided by a ratings record-breaking episode of phenomenon Jersey Shore, Skins was facing tough Week 2-to-Week 1 ratings comparisons. Indeed, sources said Episode 2 slightly exceeded internal ratings projections at the network. Still, given the big controversy surrounding the show, numbers could’ve held up better.

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‘Skins’ Co-Creator Bryan Elsley: “Our Approach Is Not Careless”

Nellie Andreeva

Skins co-creator Bryan Elsley today addressed the growing controversy surrounding the racy British series’ MTV version, which he is shepherding, in a lengthy statement:

Skins is a very simple and, in fact, rather old-fashioned television series. It’s about the lives and loves of teenagers, how they get through high school, how they deal with their friends, and also how they circumnavigate some of the complications of sex, relationships, educations, parents, drugs and alcohol. The show is written from the perspective of teenagers, reflects their world view, and this has caused a degree of controversy both in the U.K. and the USA.

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Now Subway Pulls Ads From ‘Skins’; Joins H&R Block, Wrigley, GM & Taco Bell

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, MONDAY: The fast-food restaurant chain, which on Saturday became PTC’s new main target, has pulled its ads from MTV’s Skins.

UPDATE, SATURDAY: Today, the Parents Television Council praised another advertiser, Wrigley, for suspending advertisements on MTV’s Skins. Another company, H&R Block, also has asked that its MTV ads don’t run on Skins. PTC is still going after other advertisers for endorsing a program with such “extreme” content. Just this morning, PTC activists began contacting Subway directly. Read More »

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Six Degrees Of ‘Skins’, ‘NYPD Blue’ & PTC: Behind MTV Series’ “Porn” Controversy

Nellie Andreeva

Last Monday was supposed to be a big day for Liz Gateley. As SVP series development at MTV, she had spent the past two and a half years working on a passion project – bringing the raunchy British series Skins to MTV. She pursued the rights to the original series relentlessly for almost 2 years, having originally been turned down by the show’s co-creator Bryan Elsley, before ultimately landing the project, which was quickly picked up to pilot and then to series by MTV president of programming Tony DiSanto. But the two left MTV on Dec. 31, just 2 weeks before Skins‘ debut, to launch their own company. And, after a brief moment of celebration at MTV when the solid premiere ratings for Skins came in last Tuesday, a controversy  erupted. To stay true to the original series, Elsley insisted on casting teens with no acting background of the same age as the characters they portray, resulting in a cast aged 15-19. Some actors’ status as minors led to the Parents Television Council’s call to the Feds to investigate the show for possibly violating U.S. child pornography laws. In hindsight, some MTV execs now regret the decision to hire underage actors, sources said. When PTC targeted the racy GQ photo shoot featuring the stars of Fox’s Glee in suggestive poses, the child pornography accusations didn’t hold water because, despite portraying high-school students, the actors on the show are … Read More »

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PTC Calls For Federal Investigation of MTV Teen Drama ‘Skins’ For Child Pornography

Nellie Andreeva

On the eve of the Monday premiere of MTV’s racy teen drama Skins, TV watchdog the Parents Television Council characterized it as possibly “the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen.” Now it is calling on the U.S. Senate and  House Judiciary Committees and the Department of Justice to open an investigation for possible child pornography and exploitation on the show, a remake of the British series of the same name. In addition to stressing the sexual content on the show involving cast members as young as 15, (the cast’s ages range from 15-19), PTC also lists 42 depictions and references … Read More »

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