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.
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.
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.