Cancelled: UK explicit teen drama dropped in US

An American adaptation of an explicit British drama has been ditched after just one season.

In the UK, “Skins” has been commissioned for a sixth series and broadcasts on E4, a digital TV channel operated by Channel 4.

In the US, Skins’ first series was hit with suggestions that it broke child pornography laws. It also saw a dive in viewing figures and an exodus of big name brands wanting to be associated with the show.

Explicit

Now MTV, the music channel which airs Skins in America, has decided not to bring back the controversial show for a second series.

It said Skins “didn’t connect with a US audience as much as we had hoped”.

The show, which was being screened at 10pm in America, had seen audience figures fall by two thirds.

In January, when the show began in the US, an article in The New York Times claimed MTV bosses had ordered some of the most explicit content to be toned down. An unnamed MTV source later denied this.

Naked

US TV bosses were reportedly particularly worried about the third episode of the series in which a 17-year-old male actor is shown running naked down a street after being locked out by his parents.

The actor’s genitalia are also the focus of ongoing jokes in the episode.

Child pornography is defined in the US as any visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. A minor is anyone under the age of 18.

Crude

The show was slammed by pluggedin.com, a website run by family values group Focus on the Family: “Teens disrobe whenever convenient, smoke pot whenever possible and swear as much as the censors allow.

“Used occasionally, the f-word is bleeped. The same cannot be said of the s-word, or any of the other frequent profanities, or the crude monikers for various body parts, or the slew of sexual allusions.”

Last year a survey showed two thirds of parents in the UK believed children are exposed to unsuitable content on television before the watershed.

An online survey of 1,004 parents of children under the age of 18 revealed that 67 per cent thought inappropriate content was broadcast before 9pm.

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