MTV gives the kiss-off to its controversial teen drama ‘Skins’

Los Angeles Times

MTV is shedding its “Skins.”

The widely criticized, not-highly rated teen drama based on a hit British series will not return for a second season, the cable network announced Thursday afternoon.

“‘Skins’ is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a U.S. 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” was enveloped in controversy this year, when some critics compared it to child pornography for its frank treatment of teen sexuality. Several major advertisers were scared away after the Parents Television Council targeted the series. Elsey told The Times that his show was “the opposite of pornography.”


The premiere drew a respectable 3.3 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. But the audience soon drifted away, with the finale logging just 1.2 million viewers. Part of the problem: Because of its TV-MA rating for mature content, MTV was restricted to airing the series after 10 p.m., which limited repeats and made it harder to hook viewers on the show.

The failure complicates MTV’s ongoing efforts to find a scripted series that can connect with its core youth demographic. The channel earns far more attention for its reality offerings such as “Jersey Shore” and “16 and Pregnant.” However, MTV just drew strong numbers for its premiere of “Teen Wolf” and has six more scripted series on deck.