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MTV's 'Skins' bares strong youth ratings in premiere

MTV's "Skins" -- an Americanization of the acclaimed British teen drama -- got off to a decent start in the ratings Monday, with 3.3 million total viewers.

Those are nowhere near the ratings for "Jersey Shore," which drew 8.4 million viewers with its Season 3 premiere earlier this month, according to the Nielsen Co. But Snooki and her pals didn't start off so hot, either: The reality smash drew only 1.4 million viewers when it first appeared in December 2009.

"Skins" is a key part of MTV's push of finding a scripted show that can connect with its target youth audience the same way "Jersey Shore" does on the reality side. The comedy "The Hard Times of RJ Berger" returns this spring, and "Teen Wolf" is due this summer. Already, "Skins" has had to endure harrumphs from critics, who've compared the U.S. version unfavorably to its U.K. predecessor.

In a release, MTV pointedly noted that "Skins" had premiered to a higher rating among its core audience of viewers ages 12 to 34 (3.4 rating) than the rollouts of other youth shows such as ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" (2.2 rating) and CW's "Gossip Girl" (2.3) and "Vampire Diaries" (2.4).

What did you think of "Skins"?

-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: The cast of MTV's "Skins." Credit: MTV.


Comments () | Archives (30)

The original skins is one of the best teen drama ever. The cast is incredible and believable. There is a realistic, original, dreamy rawness to the UK Skins that the American version just lacks. I tried to go into MTV's Skins premier last night with an open mind, but I couldn't get into it at all. Everything about it felt forced, the dialogue was ridiculous, the characters lacked the likeablity and charm of the original cast, and even though the it was basically a shot by shot of the original, the cinematography felt home made and off. I literally felt like I was watching some Youtube video made by high schoolers attempting to spoof the original. And one of the most irritating things about the MTV version, is that they have the characters saying the f word and then have it bleeped out. It is a scripted show!! Its not like a reality tv show where they don't have control over what they say... but they put the f word in there to try to be 'cool' but when you have to bleep it out you just look like idiots. I so wish that a different station had the chance to have done this remake...maybe HBO or Showtime could have done some justice to the original, but MTV has turned it into a joke. I am have an original Skins marathon tonight in hopes of forgetting the atrocity that is MTV Skins.

This show makes me so sad/angry/disappointed...i was open to the idea of an American Skins...perhaps if they gave it a completely DIFFERENT story line and DIFFERENT Characters (..like I'm guessing Daisy is supposed to be Jal and Stanley is supposed to be Sid, Katie is supposed to be Cassie who which no one besides Hannah Murray could ever pull off such a crazy role. She is brilliant) it would be okay, I would watch it and be happy but I dont think MTV thought that perhaps there might be Americans that have actually watched and LOVED the british version...the characters seem much more real and endearing. The british cast is way more talented and good looking as well (like the girl who is supposed to play Effy I dont know what her character has been renamed..but WOOF she is uglyyy, Kaya Scodelario is like a million times better and prettier. Im just really disappointed. I know I cant be the only one who feels this way there has to be someone else who has seen the original and agrees it was better... I hope it gets canceled..I really do..but I have found in my life that I apparently have much different taste than the others in my demographic who will probably thing this version is better..but it isnt :).

The original British "Skins" is so much more raw and explores the true depth of
of teens/college age life and the actors, wonderful actors and they are so much more sexy. Another sad attempt at American Television to mimic a true drama. Does America not have any original ideas?
If you want to see a true, teen angst drama watch the BBC "Skins," you won't be disappointed.

Finally the US has a show that relates a lot better to teens and young adults than stupid degrassi. After I saw the first episode, I watched the UK version. I can honestly say they are almost exactly the same with a few small things that are different. If anything, the US version is put together a lot better than the UK version. If the US version showed nudity and allowed swearing, then I would say the US version kills the UK version.

I am absolutely disgusted! I am 22 and in college and I am embarrassed that this is what MTV thinks they need to put in a show to target ME!

I got through the first 5 minutes of the show, and couldn't stand to watch the disgrace anymore. The amount of sex and scandolous acts that are not only mentioned but clearly shown in the show are absolutely disgusting! I would hope America has not really come to thinking trash like this is "good TV."

I watch quite a few other MTV shows like Teen Mom and the occasional Jersey Shore, but I have never been so blown away by the clear target of youth with SEX!! It is horrendous that the show opens with a TV-MA rating, yet is clearly targeting a 12-34 audience. In case you didn't catch that, they are targetting 12 year olds with "boob grabs", a derogitory term "nips", and all night parties and sneaking back into your parents' house, all before school starts!

I was never the portrait of honesty, morality, or perfection, especially when it comes to my parents. And I party quite a bit, but I have never even fathomed such an atrocity. Where have peoples morals gone? No wonder on the same station they have a show called 16 & Pregnant, and target 12 year olds with "popping their cherry!"

This is SICK!!

At the end of the episode where the car accidentally rolls into the water, I sincerely hoped that none of them would survive.

Shameless is a great series, it manages to pay homage to the original while going into it's own new territory...
Oh wait Skins, that was awful, I was embarassed for the kids having to say those lines. It felt like I was being beaten over-the-head with the message 'these kids are sooo cool they say things like 'coochie altar' UGH!
Back to Shameless, it worked because the creator rode shotgun and gave advice instead of taking the wheel. But instead you end up with awkward moments like when they call rolling paper skins- it's like that episode of family guy when they make fun of saying the shows name- and a reference to Nothern Soul; something most English viewers wouldn't get, when it was an exclusively English phenomenon.
Like someone else said, they should have just made an American version with it's own original characters and storyline that could run alongside the original.
To the person who said they thought this version is more put together than the original; maybe you're right, but that original was the very first episode period. This re-make is after the main producers have done 5 other series, one that was being produced concurrently with the American version. Also entire storylines were butchered- why have Anwar if you don't have Maxxie since their friendship was pretty much the sole reason for their characters. I don't care if he's from a fundamentalist Muslim family, very few teenage boys will object lesbianism like they would to another guy being gay.

I don't get why everyone keeps throwing around the word "raw". the only reason the UK version was raw was because it was totally new. If you are going to compare the US version to the UK version, then yes its not going to be great because nothing compares to originals: not books, not movies, not anything. Thats why sequels suck. MTV is trying to push the boundries this prude of a nation has created, so ppl lay off. If you hadn't seen the original, you would have loved this (and maybe have been totally shocked).
I love UK Tony, UK Michelle, UK Anwar...etc. But I look at the US Tony, Michelle, and etc as different people. The youth of the world revolt and party pretty much the same way, but there are differences and thats what the US Skins is here to show.


I was absolutely appalled after watching the premiere of this garbage targeted towards teenagers. I mean, really? Teenagers? This is disgusting. The sexual content of this show is overwhelming, the use of drugs, the disregard for authority figures, stealing, violence...where does it end??? I am really glad I do not have any children growing up in this world of corruption. This show should be taken off the air. What is even harder for me to fathom is that people are upset with this show, not because of the degenerate characters and plot, but because it is not up to par with the UK version. Are you kidding me? I have never seen the UK version and I do not want to. The iniquitous display of content on this show is unacceptable for children whether it be from America or Britian. May God have mercy on your soul, MTV.


You are precisely why amazing shows like Skins rarely make it to the U.S.
Skins is a gritty portrayal of teen life. Sure, it's not accurate, but it is rather precise: It includes all sorts of problems teens face, but rarely does 1 group suffer all of these problems. But that is the beauty of Skins...it captures basically all of the problems teens face in 1 show: drugs, sex, identity, authority, and relationships.

I'm glad you don't have 'children growing up in this world of corruption', because if you did, your children would be sheltered their entire lives and once they are out of your care, they would most likely break stupid. If teens are exposed to this sort of thing, most will see how extreme it is and shy away from any of this activity. Yet, people like you who would raise their children in a completely sheltered environment, would allow teens to not see this side of life. Instead, you would force them into what YOU think is best, because giving them the tools and knowledge of both 'moral' and 'amoral' to make their own decisions would be such a travesty.

The UK version didn't inspire similar behavior because most teens do not copy all of what they see on television.

And you know, I didn't hate it. It's still Skins. Sure, the British version is the original and by far better, but there's no reason I can't enjoy it. It's just happening all over again. :D

I can't believe this show did well; ITS AWFUL. The UK version is so much better.

I am 32 and cannot say that I was shocked with the content of the show given the current state of the media, but the scary thing to me is that these actors are really teenagers. It hurts my heart to watch these young people do and say the things they did, and all in the name of acting. It is nothing less than child pornography and endorsing the elements of drugs, homosexuality and the like to an american teenage populace, whose lives on the majority, do not reflect the plot and subplots of this show which are depicted and advertised as teenage reality. I also wonder about the parents or guardians of the the actors and their decision to let their kids participate in this show. That is shocking to me as well. We live in a world where people are not perfect, I understand, and "art imitates life", I get, but when do we as a country and a people stand up and say that something is wrong or indecent? I think it is now! Some would say that it is oldfashioned to say it is sin, but that is the word that I would use for what was being sold to us as a depiction of reality on Monday night. Would we want our kids to participate in those kind of activities? And, do we want anyone they know to encourage them to do so? If not, why oh why would we allow the kids on MTV encourage our kids to do the same?

I saw the text message on the phone of a 6th grade young man on Wednesday night. The text was from a girl who apparently was his "girlfriend". The salutation at the end of the text read "Amanda......skinsbuddy ;)". When I asked him what skinsbuddy was, he said "It is just a show." Do we really want our 6th graders to be "skinsbuddies"? MTV does. Just a thought.

I am 18 years old and honestly, that show angers me so much. I mean, teenagers are not like this at all!! There are more important things in life than sex and drugs. Any idiot my age can see that. No wonder why there are so many screw ups in my generation look at what they put on tv?!?! Sure, you may think that those issues actually happen to teens but they DON'T happen the way that show shows it. I think it's discusting and makes my generation look HORRIBLE. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that this is NOT the way things happen inREAL life. It's a stupid show about stupid fake teenagers with stupid fake over dramatized problems. Mtv needs to take it off. Targeting 12 year olds?? Really?? And you wonder why they end up '16 and pregnant' haha wow.

This show kind of reminds me of "Undressed" back in the 90's. Does anyone see that? because I watched one episode of that oneday, and was a bit shocked. I remember seeing a part of the show where this girl brushing her teeth, and talking to a guy (or chick) in the locker room. Then all of a sudden, this girl out of nowhere, come up takes her finger and licks the other girl's tooth paste from the side of her mouth. Yuck and wierd! that was new for me when I watched that. Never seen anything like it.

This was the worst POS I've ever seen. I've never seen the UK version and I certainly hope it was better than this garbage. The writers are horrible, the acting is horrible and there's absolutely no substance.

I've watched the first couple seasons of the UK version of Skins, and the show is amazing. The show is so much more than sex, drugs, and partying. A lot of it is about growing up, and having to deal with very tough situations. I can't even tell you how many episodes I watched where I was almost in tears at the end of the episode. Thus far, the first episode of the American version is very close to the UK storyline. If this continues, people may catch on. Unfortunately, America is full of prudes who still insist on living in a bubble, and wish to believe that teenagers in this country still don't experiment with sex or drugs (and therefore, it should not be publicized on television shows). Parents in the US should just be thankful for the FCC in this country because there is waaaaay more swearing and frontal nudity in the UK version.

I haven't watched Skins, nor do I care for MTV, but I'm almost certain that MTV would have never aired this show if they felt it crossed any lines. The easiest, most simplistic solution to this is if you don't like it or think it's too inappropriate, then don't watch it. We're nothing but a nation of prudes and religious fanatics. We never look at life for what it really is, but choose to live in an alternate world, where we expect everything and everyone to live up to our morals and standards. We try to force our will upon others because we don't agree with how they choose to live, and it makes me sick. Live, and let live. To sum it all up, take the sticks out of your asses, stop trying to force your values on others, and change the damn channel if you don't like the programming..that damn simple.

This is absolutely disgusting! I cannot believe anyone thinks this show is ok. I'm an open minded person but when I have children they have this to look at on MTV that's the channel with all the cool kids on it right? Growing up I looked up to kids on TV. Anyone who watches this is either a child molester or a kid. I hope they take this off the air. Sick sick world.

It's not as good as the UK version!? WOOW we have alot of child molestors here this is so sick and unacceptable. I don't even know what to say other than im bewildered to know their are adults out there that watch this. If there are parents out there that let their children watch this. Wow.

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