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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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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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MTV Picks Up Two Scripted Comedy Series

By | Tuesday September 14, 2010 @ 6:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

MTV continues to rapidly expand its scripted series portfolio by greenlighting two new half-hour series, the coming-of-age comedy That Girl and horror comedy Death Valley. Each has received a 12-episode order. After reentering the scripted arena last year with the series order to The Hard Times of RJ Berger, which was recently renewed for a second season, MTV has stepped up its scripted efforts, especially after the appointment of David Janollari as EVP of scripted development in January. In the past 4 months, MTV has picked up a whopping 5 new scripted series, dramas Skins and Teen Wolf, comedies That Girl and Death Valley and animated comedy Good Vibes. That is 2.5 times as many Read More »

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