Looks like I wasn’t the only one unimpressed with the US Skins reboot. MTV announced this afternoon that they have canceled the freshman series that made headlines for its risque depictions of teen sex and drug use when it premiered in January. They stood by the series then, but the ratings never caught up with the initial scandal.
“Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a US audience as much as we had hoped,” said MTV 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.”
The show suffered from flailing ratings post-premiere (the Skins season one finale brought in 1.2 million viewers; for comparison, MTV’s 16 & Pregnant routinely brings in closer to 1.9 million) and fleeing advertisers, who didn’t want to be associated with the controversy surrounding the show.
Elsley, whose original Skins had its fifth season in the UK this year, defended the American version against accusations by the Parents Television Council that the show’s depictions of underage nudity constituted “child pornography.” Elsley said MTV’s Skins was “a very serious attempt to get to the roots of young people’s lives. It tries to tell the truth. Sometimes that truth can be a little painful to adults and parents.”
Unfortunately, the most painful truth of all is that the American version just wasn’t very good, especially in comparison to the seminal British series, which is one of the many shows we highly recommend you check out on Instant Netflix this summer.
The Skins cancellation does not mark the end of MTV’s attempts at scripted programming for young people. Teen Wolf is their new summer smash, and this fall, six new series will hit the network, including another scripted UK remake, The Inbetweeners, the original of which is also very good — so good they made a movie this summer that basically looks like The British Teen Hangover. We’ll have to wait until the fall to see if that series can successfully jump the pond the way that Skins couldn’t.
(Image courtesy of MTV)