Skins (2011 TV series)

Skins (2011 TV series)
Skins US logo.png
Genre Teen drama
Created by Bryan Elsley
Jamie Brittain
Directed by Scott Smith
Samir Rehem
Starring Sofia Black D'Elia
James Newman
Ron Mustafaa
Daniel Flaherty
Jesse Carere
Camille Cresencia-Mills
Britne Oldford
Rachel Thevenard
Eleanor Zichy
Theme music composer 3D Friends
Opening theme Lina Magic
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Bryan Elsley
Derek Harvie
Location(s) Toronto, Canada
Cinematography Mitchell Ness
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Company Pictures[1]
Entertainment One[1]
The Movie Network[1]
Movie Central[1]
Storm Dog Films[2]
MTV Production Development[3]
Distributor MTV Networks
Original channel MTV (U.S.)
Movie Central and The Movie Network (Canada)
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Original run 02011-01-17 January 17 – March 21, 2011 (2011-03-21)
Related shows Skins (UK)
External links

Skins is an American teen drama. It is an adaptation of the original British teen drama of the same name. The show premiered on January 17, 2011 on MTV in the U.S. and on Movie Central and The Movie Network in Canada. The original show was created by father-and-son television writers Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain for Company Pictures,[4] and premiered on UK digital channel E4 on January 25, 2007.[5] As with the UK series, the 2011 version features a cast of amateur actors and young writers.[6]

On June 9, 2011, MTV announced that they would not renew Skins for a second season, with a statement that "Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn't connect with a US audience as much as we had hoped".[7][8]



The pilot of the new series is an almost shot-for-shot remake of its British counterpart, but the show deviates from the original UK show's plot in subsequent episodes.[9]

Cast and characters

The characters in the American version are also the same as those in the UK version, although some names have been changed and all last names have been changed except for Michelle Richardson. For example, Sid has been renamed Stanley, Effy renamed Eura, Anwar renamed Abbud, Jal renamed Daisy, and Cassie renamed Cadie. The biggest change comes in the form of Tea, a lesbian cheerleader who replaces the UK character of Maxxie.[10]

Tony begins the season as the leader of the group, but as his relationship with Michelle starts to crumble due to cheating on her with Tea, his popularity and power within the group crumble as well. He ends the season with the realization that his friends, particularly Stanley, and his sister Eura mean more to him than he actually thought.

In the beginning of the season Michelle, or "nips" as Tony calls her, is in a relationship with Tony, which causes her to act like she enjoys the role of the goodlooking girlfriend and ignore her real feelings. Upon discovery of Tony's affair, she struggles to find herself and confides in Stanley, who has been in love with her for as long as he can remember. She concludes the season choosing Stanley over Tony, finally realizing what is best for her.

Stanley is lazy and insecure, and often is overshadowed by Tony, his best friend and role model. Stanley finally begins to find his voice in "Stanley," when he brings up the courage to stand up to his father, who is so demanding and self-centered that he drives away Stanley's mother. Stanley spends much of the season in love with Michelle, but soon finds himself torn between his feelings for her and Cadie. In the end Stanley chooses Michelle.

Tea is confident, smart, and at times confused about who she is. Tea is a lesbian, but soon finds herself questioning her sexuality by sleeping with Tony on two separate occasions. When Michelle finds out, her friendship with Michelle and relationship with Tony are broken off. At the end she chooses Betty, a girl who had been trying to start a relationship with her for most of the season.

Abbud is a funny and caring person. He is in love with Tea for half of the season, and then spends the remaining few episodes with feelings for Daisy, with whom he has started a "friends with benefits" type of relationship. Abbud is best friends with Chris, who he takes in after his parents desert him and Tina is forced to leave town.

Chris is the party animal of the group. He is loud, energetic, and at a lot of times, either drunk or high on either weed or some type of pill. After his mom leaves him alone for good with nothing more than 1000 dollars, Chris finds hospitality with Tina, who he starts up a relationship with, and then Abbud.

Cadie is bipolar, depressed, suicidal, and anorexic. She begins the season with strong feelings for Stanley, but then loses interest. She finds a boyfriend midway through the season, and ends it with feelings for Stanley, but ultimately chooses to let him go for Michelle, knowing it is what is best for him.

  • Camille Cresencia-Mills as Daisy Valero (Jal Fazer)

Daisy is the one who often has to fix everyone else's problems. She eventually gets fed up with everybody, and tells everybody to stop asking her for help. Her mother left her, and she lives with her father and younger sister, Deedee. She is a talented trumpeter and has dreams of becoming a professional. She becomes friends with benefits with Abbud.

Eura is Tony's younger sister, and does not speak. She enjoys partying and drinking, and Tony often helps her sneak in and out of the house. The audience does not hear her voice until the season finale.

Minor characters

  • Anastasia Phillips as Tina, A school teacher (Angie)
  • David Reale as Dave, a schoolteacher.
  • Randall Blaine Morris as Betty, a love interest for Tea.
  • Natalie Brown as Cadie's mother, a former model.
  • Paulino Nunes as Marco Marvelli, Tea's father.



Elsley said he was first approached on making a North American adaptation by MTV's Liz Gateley and Tony DiSanto. Elsley said that at the time he didn't feel that a North American version would work.[11] Several network and cable channels also approached Elsley about a North American adaptation. Elsley said "at that end of that time it seemed clear that MTV had the clearest vision."[11] He added "[the other networks] were missing a commitment to the core values of the show. Which is to say that MTV is clearly taking a risk with this show and they were prepared to take that risk."[11]

In early 2009, Elsley began finding writers for the North American version. Elsley said "We started at the top of the Hollywood tree and worked our way down, and it wasn't until we got to the bottom that we actually found writers we liked. We started saying to agents, 'Who have you just taken on? Who's got a great play on somewhere?' And that turned up just incredible writers that have never done anything."[11] After reading 400 scripts around the clock, a team of six was formed.[11]


Skins cast; From left to right: Chris, Tea, Abbud, Tony, Michelle, Daisy, Stanley, Cadie and Eura.

Open casting calls were held in New York City. Six of the nine main cast members have never acted before. Elsley said "It's very important to us that the kids are not seasoned professionals" in keeping with British version where most had no prior acting experience.[6]

James Newman, who plays Tony Schneider, was urged to audition for the show by his older brother. Newman missed the audition but attended a later audition where he won the role.[12] Ron Mustafaa, who plays Abbud Siddiky, went to the open call for the show because his mother was a big fan of Dev Patel (who plays Abbud's UK Skins equivalent), Anwar, and wanted Mustafaa to "be the next Slumdog."[10]


The show production began in mid 2010 in Toronto, changed from initially planned location of Baltimore.[13]


Besides several user-submitted contributions and a playlist of current U.S. songs, it was announced in late December 2010 that out of many submitted, user-created songs, "Lina Magic" by 3D Friends was chosen to be the official theme song for the MTV version of Skins and has been reworked and remixed for the 30 second intro.[citation needed]

Advertising for the show that aired from Christmas through New Years 2010, featured the song "Little Drummer Boy" by Canadian Harsh EBM band DYM.[14]

Fat Segal, the main composer of the UK version, announced that he would be contributing tracks to the MTV version.[15]

The US advertising featured the track "Kids" from the Noise pop band Sleigh Bells.[citation needed]

Matt FX is the music supervisor for Skins US. Music from Skins US has received unprecedented praise from critics. Music by artists such as Phantogram, Baths, and Animal Collective have been featured. Dubstep artists such as Rusko and Aquadrop have also contributed to the soundtrack.

International broadcasting

Country TV network(s) Notes
Argentina Argentina MTV Latin America 2011
Australia Australia Fox8, MTV Australia (Rerun) Premiered on May 7, 2011
Brazil Brazil MTV Brazil Premiered on May 25, 2011; The show airs every Wednsdays at 10pm.
Canada Canada Movie Central & The Movie Network The show airs on Movie Central in Western Canada and The Movie Network in Eastern Canada.[13]
Finland Finland MTV Finland 2011
France France MTV France Premiered on May 22, 2011; the show airs every Sunday nights at 10pm
Germany Germany MTV Germany Premiered on June 3 , 2011
Hungary Hungary MTV Hungary Premiered on May 15, 2011
Italy Italy MTV Italia Premiered on May 20, 2011
Israel Israel MTV Israel Wednesdays at 11 PM, premiered on May 17, 2011
Mexico Mexico MTV Latin America Premiered on May 15, 2011; the show airs every Sunday nights at 10pm
New Zealand New Zealand MTV New Zealand 2011
Norway Norway MTV Norway Premiered on May 20, 2011
Poland Poland MTV Polska Premiered on May 15, 2011
Spain Spain MTV Spain Premiered on May 26, 2011
United States United States MTV The show airs Monday nights at 10/9C PM
Venezuela Venezuela MTV The show airs Monday nights at 10 PM
Sweden Sweden MTV Sweden & TV11
Portugal Portugal MTV Portugal The show airs Monday nights at 9.50 PM
Romania Romania MTV Romania


  • The first season will consist of ten episodes.[11]
  • There are also webisodes available on that correspond with the episodes.


Critical response

Metacritic gives the series a weighted average score of 57% based on reviews from 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

James Poniewozik of Time magazine concluded that the show is tamer than the British original, but believes if the controversial subject matter leaves parents reaching for antacid, then the show is doing its job. Although the show is raunchy, Poniewozik judges Skins to have "more sweetness than snarky teen soaps like Gossip Girl". He questions if this Canadian remake of a British show will be able to find its American voice, but commends the strong source material. He calls the show "unsettling, flawed but ambitious" and credits it with the secret that "it wears its heart on its skin".[17]

Troy Patterson of Slate describes the show as a "sporadically excellent adaption" that is "superior teensploitation, enabling youth to rejoice in the fantasy of their corruption". He admonishes those who call the show child pornography, scolding them for "trivializing terrible crimes with flabby language" and judges it to be more an indication of the show's success that it angers some parents and sets itself on the far side of a generation gap.[18]


The show has been criticized for its "racy" teenage depictions of casual sex and drug use, especially in regard to underage actors.[19] In the wake of a mounting scandal over a possible child pornography investigation of MTV as a result of the show's raciness, Yum! Brands (Taco Bell), Mars, Incorporated (Wrigley), General Motors, Doctor's Associates (Subway), Foot Locker, H&R Block, Schick, Guthy-Renker (Proactiv), L'Oréal, Reckitt Benckiser (Clearasil) and Kraft have all opted to pull their advertising from the program.[19][20][21][22][23] Additionally, the television activist group the Parents Television Council filed a letter to the Department of Justice, asking them to bring a child pornography charge against the series, alleging a violation of 18 USC 1466A.[24] Due to the controversy in the U.S. and because the show is made in Canada, Bob Tarantino, an entertainment and intellectual property lawyer, reviewed section 163.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada and found that "it would be exceedingly unlikely that Skins would be found to constitute "child pornography" for purposes of Canadian criminal law."[25]

In 2011, MTV branded the show "TV-MA" rated, meaning that it is unsuitable for viewers under 17. Nielsen reported that 1.2 million of the premiere episode's 3 million viewers were under 18. MTV told advertisers, "Now is the time to influence their choices."[26] They also defended the show, stating that it addresses "real-world issues" teenagers are confronted with on a daily basis, and in a "frank" way. "We are confident that the episodes of Skins will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers," they said.[19]


The series debut had 3.26 million viewers, with a 3.4 rating and 2.7 million viewers in the 12-34 demo, the most viewers in that demo for a show launch in MTV history. However, its demo rating was down 55% from its lead-in, Jersey Shore,[27] which drew 7.7 million viewers.[28] The second episode dropped to 1.6 million viewers, with a 1.0 share and 1.4 million viewers in the key demo. The third episode did not fare much better, dipping to 1.5 million viewers.[29] Episodes 4 through 10 averaged about 1 million viewers,[30][31][32] peaking at 1.2 million for episode 4[30] and hitting its lowest point at 0.962 million for episode 5.[31] The last four episodes (7 through 10) got 1.170,[33] 1.088,[34] 1.107[35] and 1.2[36] million viewers respectively.


On June 9 it was announced that MTV canceled the show because Skins wasn't connecting to the U.S. audience along with the controversy that went with it.[37] Bryan Elsley defended the show's content as not much controversial, "But a serious attempt to get in the roots of young people's lives." There are also pending investigations of sexual exploitation of minors.[38]


  1. ^ a b c d "Skins, A New Original Series From Movie Central And The Movie Network, Debuts January 17" (Press release). The Movie Network and Movie Central via CNW Group. December 17, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Tony". Skins. The Movie Network. January 17, 2011. Event occurs at 42:42.
  3. ^ "Tony". Skins. The Movie Network. January 17, 2011. Event occurs at 42:45.
  4. ^ "Skins 3". Company Pictures. January 2009. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ Johns, Ian (January 26, 2007). "Spaced out with the Skins generation". The Times (London). Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Barshad, Amos (January 7, 2011). "The Dirt on 'Skins'". New York. New York Media Holdings. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ Hibberd, James (June 9, 2011). "MTV cancels controversial 'Skins'". Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Elsley, Bryan (October 22, 2010). "So: to be clear, the First series of Skins USA will start similar and get noticeably different to the UK Show. Walk first then run.". Twitter. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Barshad, Amos (January 9, 2011). "Lost in Translation?". New York. New York Media Holdings. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Barshad, Amos (January 17, 2011). "Skins Co-creator Bryan Elsley on Adapting His Show for MTV". Vulture. New York Media Holdings. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ Fleming, Mike (January 17, 2011). "How MTV Found Its New 'Skins' Series Star". Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "The Movie Network and Movie Central announce upcoming production slate" (Press release). The Movie Network and Movie Central via CNW Group.. June 14, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Segal, Fat (January 5, 2011). "As for 2011, look out for brand new tracks from me in forthcoming Skins UK and Skins MTV. You 'erd.". Twitter. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Skins (US): Season 1". Metacritic. CBS. 
  17. ^ James Poniewozik (January 14, 2011). "Generation XXX: MTV Tries to Get Real with Skins". Time (magazine).,9171,2042346,00.html. "For all its cheekiness and raunch, Skins has more sweetness than snarky teen soaps like Gossip Girl" 
  18. ^ Troy Patterson (January 21, 2011). "Skins. The new MTV show isn't child pornography, but rather a kind of cultural pornography for children.". Slate (magazine). Washington Post. 
  19. ^ a b c "Taco Bell Pulls Ads From Controversial MTV Show 'Skins' Amid Child Porn Accusations". Fox News. January 20, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Wrigley, H&R Block Pull Ads from Skins". TV Guide. 
  21. ^ "Schick is Sixth Company to Pull Ads from 'Skins'". Hollywood Reporter. 
  22. ^ Schuker, Lauren A.E. (January 25, 2011). "MTV's 'Skins' Loses More Advertisers". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
  23. ^ John Eggerton (2011-02-01). "Food Company Gets Award For 'Family-Friendly TV Advertising Choices'". "On the other end of the spectrum, as far as PTC is concerned, are advertisers in Skins, the MTV show about teen sex and drug use that has seen advertisers flee in the wake of their own independent content reviews and pressure from PTC to exit the show." 
  24. ^ "PTC Calls on Feds to Investigate "Skins" on MTV for Child Pornography and Exploitation" (Press release). January 20, 2011. 
  25. ^ Tarantino, Bob (January 24, 2011). "The Skins Controversy - A Canadian Perspective". Entertainment & Media Law Signal. Heenan Blaikie. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  26. ^ Marcus, Ruth (10 February 2011). "Getting under your 'Skins':New MTV show teaches teens valuable lessons". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida): pp. 9A. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "MTV stands by "Skins" as ratings stabilize". Reuters. February 2, 2011. 
  30. ^ a b
  31. ^ a b
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ Jonathan, Rosen (June 10, 2011). "Skins Canceled by MTV". Call It Like I See It. 
  38. ^ Warner, Kara (June 9, 2011). "Skins Season Two Canceled". MTV. 

External links

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