MTV drops racy drama "Skins" after poor ratings

Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:53pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - MTV has canceled its teen drama "Skins" after the show suffered disappointing ratings in the face of a media controversy about its depiction of underage sex and drinking.

"Skins," based on the British show of the same name, featured a group of youngsters dabbling in drink, drugs and sex. It caused a media uproar in America because some of the actors were as young as 15.

At least eight companies pulled their advertising after the series debuted in January, or placed the show on a "do not buy" list, following a campaign by a parents watchdog.

But sources at the Viacom Inc-controlled network said the decision not to order a second season was due mostly to a steep drop in viewershop.

"'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 on Thursday. "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" lost about two-thirds of the 3.3 million viewers who tuned in for its heavily-promoted premiere in January by the time the series ended its first season in March, according to ratings data.

The award-winning British version, which just finished its fifth season, featured such actors as Dev Patel ("Slumdog Millionaire") and Nicholas Hoult ("A Single Man").

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Dean Goodman)

<p>Cast members Danny Flaherty and Britne Oldford in a scene from the MTV show "Skins". REUTERS/MTV</p>