MTV may take a stand against the criticism that "Skins" is too dangerous for the teens in America but it can't ignore the fact that the number of people watching plunges sharply from the premiere to the second episode. According to Nielsen's data, 3.3 million tuned in last week, but the number is cut by 51% by the second week to only 1.6 million viewers.
However, it should be taken note that the sophomore episode got a weaker lead-in from "Jersey Shore". The Monday, January 24 episode followed a re-rerun of the reality show which only drew 1.2 million viewers. Last week, "Skins" benefited from an all-new episode of "Jersey Shore" which drew 8.87 million viewers. A spokeswoman for MTV said the lead-in show could continue to shift in coming weeks.
The declining ratings, accumulated with the fact that advertisers are pulling their involvements, will give the network quite a headache. As many as eight companies such as Subways, Foot Locker Inc. and L'Oreal SA have backed out after the show is getting criticism from Parents TV Council. Red Bull, Zeno Corp. and EA games stuck to the show in the second episode but PTC is planning to persuade them to quit.
"Skins" which is a U.S. adaptation of a British series of the same name is slammed by the TV watchdog as the "most dangerous" show for teens. MTV had insisted that despite the portrayal by teens experimenting with sex and drugs, the show is aiming for adults audience and will not air before 10/9c. In a blog post Monday, co-creator Bryan Elsley defended the show, calling it "a very serious attempt to get to the roots of young people's lives....it tries to tell the truth. Sometimes that truth can be a little painful to adults and parents."
MTV declined to comment about being ditched by companies but said in a previous statement that they are confident "Skins" will "continue to connect with the audience it was created for and that advertisers will take advantage of the opportunity to reach them."