Call it the unkindest cut of all.
Despite all the hype and controversy generated by its supposedly sexually explicit content, Skins turned out to be a big fat dud for MTV. The network announced yesterday it was axing the racy teen series due to skimpy ratings and advertisers turning tail due to the threat of boycotts.
And one advocacy group is claiming victory.
The folks at the ever-offended Parents Television Council were thrilled by the news, especially after they has spent the last couple of months denouncing the show for its portrayal of rambunctious teens and their sexual exploits, comparing it to child porn and pressuring advertisers like Taco Bell, Subway, Wrigley and General Motors to drop their spots.
"MTV's decision to put Skins on the air was a programming failure of cataclysmic proportions," said the group's president Tim Winter in a statement. "The network marketed the show to kids and then lied. The producers admitted to delivering kids to advertisers and then lied about their intentions. Advertisers openly supported the show until they were called out for underwriting some of the most graphic portrayals of teen sex and glamorized drug and alcohol abuse that we have ever seen on television."
The PTC also found fault with the cable network's marketing of Skins, whose high school characters are played by amateur teen thespians who also scripted the episodes to lend it authenticity—similar to the U.K. version on which the show is based.
Calling Skins "the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen," the group also launched a campaign urging Congress, the Justice Department and state attorney generals to investigate the program to see whether it violated child pornography laws.
"The shocking content was trumped only by the fact that the program featured teenage actors and was marketed to teenage children," added Winter. "We are grateful to every member of the public who helped us drive an economic stake through the graphic content on the program, the likes of which never deserves to see the light of day again."
As long as they're lobbying, how about convincing the music network to actually play more music videos? Just a thought.
PHOTOS: Under MTV's Skins