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Despite advertiser defection (and declining ratings), MTV is standing by controversial scripted series Skins.
Reports claiming the network is pulling the plug on creator Bryan Elsley’s adaption of his UK hit prompted a statement from the network.
“MTV stands by the US adaptation of Skins and the vision of its creator Bryan Elsley,” the network said in a statement. “Skins has earned the loyalty of fans across the globe for its thoughtful and honest portrayal of teen life today. An internationally acclaimed scripted drama, the show has been honored with a long list of prestigious awards.”
Half a dozen advertisers come out against the show, a result of an organized campaign by watchdog group the Parents Television Council.
But MTV has ten episodes of the show and plans to air all of them, according to a network spokesperson.
The cancelation rumor was likely spurred by the tune-in decline for the show’s second episode. It attracted 1.6 million viewers last Monday, down 52 percent compared to the opener on Jan. 17, when 3.3 million tuned in after a new episode of Jersey Shore that attracted more than 7 million viewers. This week, Skins had a Jersey Shore rerun as its lead-in.
And if MTV’s sales team continues to see a sponsor exodus, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have graciously offered the step into the breach — and generate some publicity of its own.
The non-profit organization has offered up a 30-second spot featuring Pink and Ricky Gervais giving voice to a computer-generated alligator and rabbit who make the case that “exotic skins and fur belong on their original owners.”
“In light of the uproar surrounding the explicit content of MTV’s new teen drama, Skins, and the show’s resultant loss of sponsors, PETA is offering the network a chance to get some positive media attention as well as save animals’ skins,” the org said in a statement.
Meanwhile, The Parents Television Council is urging Red Bull and Zeno Hot Spot to pull ads. Zeno Hot Spot has not returned calls, but a Red Bull spokesperson tells THR: “We don’t comment on our marketing and advertising plans.”
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