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.
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 …
Tonight, MTV and co-creator Bryan Elsley launch the Americanized version of the UK hit TV show Skins by pushing boundaries for casual sex and recreational drugs. What makes this unusual is that the cast is comprised of teens — not the twentysomethings posing as teens that usually populate high school shows. Elsley cast all unknowns, understandable considering Hollywood’s growing infatuation with discovering new stars. Of course, the Skins’ newcomers were only too happy to take low salaries for the chance to pop the way X-Men: First Class’ Nicholas Hoult and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel did when they starred in the UK version of Skins.
The U.S. version’s lead is James Newman who plays the Hoult-originated role of the manipulative ringleader Tony. James is the 18-year old son of Peter Newman, producer of indie films like Smoke and The Squid And The Whale. He was the only kid in that family not interested in acting, instead planning to fight in the Golden Gloves tournament before studying business in college. He spent his pre-teens haunting Gleason’s Gym in downtown NYC and boxing camps. (He was bloodied by fighter Yuri Foreman during a sparring session.) Newman was training hard to enter the 143-pound division when his actor/comedian brother Griffin first urged him to audition for Skins. (Griffin was too old). James missed the audition, but while away visiting colleges, his brother told him MTV hadn’t yet found its lead. At …