Nothing could save MTV's "Skins": The network announced its cancellation Thursday after it lost ratings and shed advertisers worried about its portrayals of teen sexuality.
"Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn’t connect with a Us audience as much as we had hoped," MTV said in a statement. "We admire the work that the series’ creator Bryan Elsley did in adapting the show for MTV, and appreciate the core audience that embraced it."
Elsey knew his show, a U.S. version of a UK hit, was in trouble. He tweeted to a fan last month: "I think if you woud like to see more MTV Skins, maybe say so to MTV."
The show lost a slew of advertisers, including Taco Bell, GM, Wrigley, H&R Block and Subway, after the Parents Television Council called on them to pull their ads. The group objected to the show's portrayal of teens having sex, doing drugs and drinking, calling it "the most dangerous show" it had ever viewed.
The group also called for the U.S. Justice Department and states' attorneys general to investigate to see if "Skins" violated child pornography laws.
"I'm not sure if it comes as much of a surprise, but its a message for MTV and other cable networks that there are some lines that aren't meant to be crossed," Dan Isett, the group's director of public policy, said of the cancellation. "Life would be easier if MTV and other networks would take the concerns of parents and families seriously before even beginning production on something like this."
Isett said that the group didn't plan to shift its focus immediately to another show because "there's not a show on right now that quite goes to the content level that 'Skins' did."
"Skins" was bedeviled not only by a lack of advertisers but a shortage of viewers: It debuted in January to a 3.4 rating in the 12-34 demo after a new episode of "Jersey Shore," but ended its season with a 1.2 rating. The show also couldn't be re-run before 10 p.m. because it was rated TV-MA, for viewers 17 and up.
MTV also wanted to make room for seven new scripted shows, including "Teen Wolf," which debuted Sunday, as well as the upcoming "I Just Want My Pants Back," and a new "Beavis and Butthead."