Despite Controversy, 'Skins' to Be Spotlighted at MTV's Upfront

Courtesy of MTV Networks

An expert says the net, which will tout upcoming and established shows in its presentation, may have gone "too far" in its new teen series -- but it will eventually find the "right advertisers."

NEW YORK - MTV’s Skins may have gone too far for some, but may still find the right balance to retain viewers and marketers, media and social marketing experts told the New York Times.

The debate about the controversial show continues as MTV this Wednesday becomes the first major cable network to make its ad pitch for the 2011-12 TV season at its upfront presentation in midtown Manhattan. It will feature the likes of cast members of Skins, Jersey Shore and Justin Bieber, and will mostly put the spotlight on upcoming shows.

Those shows include Good Vibes, an animated comedy about high school sophomores in a California beach community, Teen Wolf, a drama that is darker than the 1985 movie comedy, and This Is Awkward, about a teenage girl coping with the aftermath of an accident that people mistakenly believe was a suicide attempt, according to the Times.

In a time of executives’ striving “to create buzz and attention, of pushing the envelope to remain relevant, you have to push the envelope further and further,” said Matt Britton, CEO of social marketing agency Mr. Youth. “There’s a point where maybe you can push the envelope too far in this country.”

Matt Diamond, CEO at Alloy Media and Marketing, which develops TV shows, Web video series and books for Generation Y, predicted that MTV would “figure out the right balance” for Skins between “the right audience” and “the right advertisers.” He added: “The first wave of advertisers may not have been the right ones.”

In 2010, MTV’s ratings in its core 12-to-34 audience rose 16 percent, its biggest annual gain since 1999, the Times highlighted.