EXCLUSIVE: MTV will not be going with a second season of its racy teen drama Skins. The news is not particularly surprising as it’s been almost three months since the series ended its freshman run. “Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a US audience as much as we had hoped,” MTV said in a statement. “We admire the work that the series’ creator Bryan Elsley did in adapting the show for MTV, and appreciate the core audience that embraced it.”
Skins, an adaptation of the praised British series, became one of MTV’s most talked-about shows ever when TV watchdog the Parents Television Council characterized it as possibly “the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen.” It called on the Feds to open an investigation for possible child pornography and exploitation on the show, which, in keeping with the British original, employed (often underage) teen actors to play the characters of the same age. That led to a number of advertisers pulling from the show, but MTV stuck with it and aired the entire first season with small editing of the more explicit content. Ratings-wise, Skins was solid while not spectacular. It opened with 3.3 million viewers for its premiere, which followed Jersey Shore, dropping half of it in its second episode. After several weeks of declines, the show’s numbers picked up toward the end … Read More »
UPDATE: Last night’s Saturday Night Live hosted by SNL alum Dana Carvey with musical guest Linkin Park drew a 5.6 household metered-market rating, up 4% from the same telecast last year. It was the second highest-rated SNL this season behind the Jan. 8 telecast, which was boosted by a highly-rated NFL primetime game.
PREVIOUS: Saturday Night Live host Dana Carvey dusted off his trademark Church Lady SNL character last night to opine about “all of the evil shows” on TV: MTV’s controversial teen drama Skins (SportsCenter for pedophiles), Two and a Half Men (One and a Half Men and a Whore Monger) and Jersey Shore (Jersey Whore). Her guests included the 3 Kardashian sisters (the holy trinity of sluts) as well as Justin Bieber who also did a spoof of new movie The Roommate with SNL‘s Andy Samberg. Here are the videos: Read More »
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 »
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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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 »
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 »
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 »
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 … Read More »
The ex-president of the CBS Network Television Group who’s now a CBS Inc consultant has become a non-executive director of the UK’s largest group of independent production companies. Tellem joins All3Media at an interesting time. The company is the last big independent UK TV producer left on the market. It’s expected to be sold next year to either a Hollywood studio anxious to get more into global TV production — such as Time Warner or Sony – or Brit broadcaster ITV, which needs to beef up its in-house production. Financiers I’ve spoken to expect the price tag to be around £500 million ($788 million). All3Media produces Undercover Boss for CBS and Skins for MTV.