Well, it happened. Not that we didn’t see this coming–how could we not? Skins got a rough start after weekly attacks from the Parent’s Television Council and then numerous advertisers pulled the plug. Really though, all the press that came from the PTC and jumpy advertisers served as quite the jump start for MTV’s Skins.
Too bad it also served as the nail in the coffin.
Skins first episode had 3.4 million viewers, but after that, the show struggled to stay above one million. That wasn’t the fault of the PTC or the advertisers. If you review my posts on Skins from the beginning, the show had its serious ups and downs. For every step forward the show took, it slid about eight steps back. Most of its acting was weak, its storylines and characterizations inconsistent, and some plot threads were completely irrelevant and uninteresting.
If the American version of Skins had any of the quality that made its British counterpart so successful, advertisers and the PTC would have had no negative effect on its ratings. For the low numbers, Skins has no one to blame but itself (or its writers).
But the cancellation isn’t entirely because of low ratings. MTV isn’t as demanding of its shows as other networks. Reportedly, MTV’s other scripted show The Hard Times of R.J. Berger had even worse ratings than Skins, yet MTV spared it.
So perhaps it was the advertisers and PTC that did Skins in in the long run. Its ratings weren’t awful enough for it to get the boot (although perhaps MTV was holding it to the standard of the British show and not R.J. Berger), but losing all that money from advertisers might have made it just too big of a hole for MTV to handle.
I guess it’s time to bite the bullet and watch the UK version on Netflix.