Always Watching

MTV Imports Skins

In BBC America, British TV, Gossip Girl, Skins, Teen Soaps on 08/26/2009 at 1:23 pm

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We’re not sure if we should be excited about this or not.  MTV has announced that they’ve secured the rights to produce and broadcast a U.S. version of DVR Life’s favorite teen soap, Skins.  The original brit-com is chock full of kids swearing and having sex and doing drugs – everything actual teenagers do. 

As we’ve said before, the series is about as close as any TV show has come to matching our actual teen years.  That’s a pretty significantly awesome thing in our book.  We’re hesitant at the thought of a U.S. network, burdened by much stricter obscenity laws and dogged by the religious right, remaking the series.

From the moment we first saw Skins on BBC America, it was love at first sight, even with all the edited language and blurred body parts.  Then we wondered when someone would make a U.S. version.  As season one and two ended and an extended haitus came about before they aired season three (which just finally premiere August 6th – still airing each Thursday at 9pm on BBC America), we thought a U.S. version would never happen…And didn’t really mind that much.  The original is so fantastic and, upon months of contemplation, we came to the firm opinion that there was no U.S. network, broadcast, cable or pay, that could do the series justice.

All this time, though, apparently MTV and The CW were battling it out for the rights to create a U.S. version of the series.  Not sure why it took two years for the brits to give the go ahead but I think maybe they made the correct choice.  While The CW is the go-to network for bitchy teen dramas, their limited broadcast hours would force the show into either an 8 or 9pm time slot, which, especially for a broadcast network, would limit how much producers and writers could get away with.

Over at MTV, there’s talk of the new series being broadcast during late night hours, which would free the creative team up a bit.  Their cable status also lends a bit more leeway to the situation.  According to that Live Feed article, the network has other “boundary pushing” scripted fair in the works that the series could be paired with.  Perhaps we’re seeing the birth of a good thing here.  Late night teen dramas sounds like a fascinating option to me and, thinking back to my high school years, would have really liked late night options.

MTV, perhaps suspecting that many would worry about the gime and grit of the series being left behind, has signed Skins co-creator Bryan Elsley to write and direct the U.S. pilot and executive producers assured The Live Feed,”We intend to preserve the authenticity of the British version”, “We don’t want to do a softer version of it,” and they want to make the sure the show remains “the absolute opposite of ‘Gossip Girl.‘”

The series will be based in Baltimore, Md, a good substitute for Bristol, I think, and will employ unknown amateur actors and writers, just as the UK version does.  While we see the potential for total awesomeness or complete failure here, we’re hoping for the latter.

P.S.  Anyone remember what that scripted show MTV tried back in the mid 90’s was?

P.P.S. If all this talk about teen dramas has you craving some bitchy fun, don’t forget about DVR Life’s Gossip Girl Season 2 DVD Giveaway.

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