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Not quite a million people tuned in to watch the fifth episode of MTV’s controversial teen drama “Skins” last Monday night, a major drop from the 3.2-plus million people who watched the premiere on January 19. Now, halfway through the first season of its run, MTV is staying true to its promise to air all 10 episodes of "Skins," despite a parent's group's request for a federal investigation into whether it cosntitutes child pornography, declining viewership, and, most important for the network's bottom line, a continued lack of advertiser support.
“At this point, the only advertising that you see on the show, aside from Clearasil, are movie trailers and various direct marketing type of things,” Dan Isett, director of public policy for the Parents Television Council, tells FOX411. “So, there’s virtually no mainline commercial support for this show. There’s no economic reason to keep ‘Skins’ on the air. If I were a Viacom shareholder, I’d be upset that my corporate management is going out of their way to lose me money by putting on this show.”
However, a marketing experts says “Skins” could be valuable to Viacom if it helps keep the MTV brand “edgy,” despite its weak ratings.
"I think it's always good when people are talking about you and people are certainly talking about (‘Skins’)," MTV programming chief David Janollari told the Hollywood Reporter last week. But aside from the outrage over the racy content of “Skins,” the show itself hasn’t received much interest from viewers or buzz on the Internet.
“I watched all three seasons of the British version of ‘Skins,’” 16-year old Isabel Coleman of New York, NY, tells FOX411. “I’ve only seen a couple of the American episodes, but I feel it is way blown out of proportion of what teenagers actually do. Not everyone throws, like, these massive house parties and gets drunk and high and all sorts of crazy stuff. It’s kind of unfair to teenagers to depict them like that—not all of us are like that, obviously. I think the British version did a really good job of getting into the personal lives of the characters as individuals, but the American version is, like—you don’t really get too in-depth with the characters.”