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Channel 4 courted for U.S. version of Skins

A British TV show depicting teenagers doing drugs and having sex, which arguably has helped to raise the creative bar on Channel 4, is about to be unleashed on the international market. "Skins," a cult hit with Blighty's 16- to 24-year-olds, is a latenight dramedy about the lives of a group of worldly, middle-class 16- and 17-year-olds made by U.K. shingle Company Pictures. Now in its third season, (only not really) its ratings have dipped a bit, but local versions have been optioned in Spain to Curazo TV and in Romania to MediaPro Distribution. There is speculation that U.S. webheads also are considering making a version of "Skins." "There has been interest from a couple of U.S. networks to adapt the format," Channel 4's acquisitions head Jeff Ford says. Created by veteran British scriptwriter Brian Elsley and his son James, "Skins" employs a writing team mostly in its early 20s; one episode of the current run is written by an 18-year-old. The cast is largely made up of faces new to TV. The exception is "About a Boy" star Nicholas Hoult, who plays cool Tony, a budding alpha-male whose confidence is undermined by a car crash. "One reason why the audience has taken to 'Skins' is because it doesn't preach," Channel 4's head of scheduling Rosemary Newell says. While figures for the second season, which bowed Feb. 11 on spinoff, youth-skewed web E4 (each episode is repeated a few days later on Channel 4), are down year-on-year despite an intense marketing campaign, the show remains one of the channel's biggest draws, ahead of established E4 fare like "Friends." The first season of "Skins" averaged 1.1 million across its nine episodes, a good audience for a U.K. digital channel. The second run debuted with 884,000 viewers, which translates into a multichannel audience share of 5.9%. For the week beginning March 16, viewers had dropped to 709,000. " 'Skins' success shouldn't be measured only by ratings," E4 head Angela Jain insists. "It is an utterly channel-defining show that totally chimes with our audience." In any case, Channel 4 claims the figures underestimate the true size of the "Skins" audience because a lot of viewers are watching via the station's on-demand portal, 4OD. Undoubtedly the program has won the approval of Brit TV professionals. Earlier this year it won the prize for best drama series at the Broadcast awards. "Skins" is nominated at next month's TV BAFTAs in the same category. The company is developing a third season, but with budgets tight and Channel 4 in the midst of deliberations over its long-term strategy, the future of an expensive show like "Skins" -- despite its iconic status -- is not guaranteed. Yet with advertisers keen to reach teenagers, it is perhaps not surprising that the skein has been exported to more than 100 territories as a completed show. But can "Skins" translate to overseas auds? "NBC is planning to make 'Father Ted' (a surreal Channel 4 sitcom lampooning the Catholic Church)," Ford says. "If they can do 'Father Ted,' I can't see why 'Skins' can't be reversioned for the U.S. The question is whether a U.S. version of "Skins" could retain the essence of the U.K. show that makes it unique. 'The Office' (which has been adapted successfully for the American market) is edgy, but not in the way 'Skins' is. "There are things in 'Skins' like young people having sex and doing drugs that make people feel uncomfortable," Ford says. "If HBO or Showtime made a version of 'Skins,' there wouldn't be a problem: A (broadcast) network adaptation would need to be watered down." Source:

Skins star to appear in Doctor Who (Yay!)

Skins star Joe Dempsie has landed a role in Doctor Who. The actor, who plays wildchild Chris in the E4 teen drama, will appear as a soldier who sees his comrades murdered by aliens. However, he admitted that he had never watched the sci-fi hit before taking the part. He told The Mirror: "I play a misguided soldier. To be honest I'd never seen the show before." Other guest stars lined up for the fourth series include Alex Kingston, Sarah Lancashire and Felicity Kendal. Source:

Skins creator talks finale & new series (**CONTAINS SPOILERS**)

The rumours are true. The entire Skins cast has been axed in favour of younger models (oh, what a cruel and fickle world this is, etc. etc.). This means that next week's episode - Monday, 10pm, E4 - will be the last we see of Tony, Michelle, Sid et al. Boo! But why have the gang been ditched? What can we expect from the new breed? And WHY was Chris killed off? Skins co-creator Jamie Brittain tells all. What can viewers expect from the final episode? "It's all about goodbyes. It's about saying goodbye to your friends and the things you're going to leave behind. It's sort of a poem about the end of teenage life. It's a very pretty and beautiful episode." But it's also a sad episode. What made you decide to kill off Chris? "It seemed like it was the right thing to do. It was a very sad thing to do, and obviously for the actor it's very difficult, but we show teenage life in its good parts and bad parts. Friends do die, horrible things do happen to teenagers, and how they cope with that is really interesting. We wanted to introduce that element into the show to give it some realism." Why did you decide to get rid of the entire cast? "I think the decision was made when the show first began, really. It just seemed like the logical thing to do. The show is about kids aged 16 to 18 and the time they spend at college. It was kind of natural that we were going to change the cast round every two years, because it's those two years that we really focus on. We didn't really want to do a show where they all go off to university. The show's very much about teenage life and not university life." Did the cast always know they had a limited lifespan? "I'm not sure if they were aware of it from the start, but most of them were on two-year contracts, so they knew they were going to be there for two years for sure and beyond that was unsure. We told them as soon as we'd really decided, because we didn't know that we were going to get a second series or how certain things were going to go down. We told them around about when series two was commissioned. They were sad, but you know, it's all very exciting for them because they get to go off and do different stuff. They're all getting exciting new parts." There have been rumours that the new series will focus on Effy and her gang, and the final scene of this series would seem to support that. Is it true? "Obviously I don't want to reveal too much, but Effy definitely will be in series three. I don't want to say she'll be the focus or the main character, because we don't really do that, but she'll definitely be in series three and will be heavily featured, yes." Effy has an obvious link with Tony, so does that mean the current cast could make guest appearances? "I think it's possible, but I don't know how possible. These young guys want to move on and do different stuff and I'm not sure they'll want to be tied down to Skins. Also we're about telling stories about the individual characters. Just thinking about it, I don't know how much it would bring to these [new] characters to have Anwar or Cassie just suddenly turn up. I just can't quite see what the benefit of that would be, other than for them to say 'hi'. We haven't ruled it out but I think it's unlikely." How's production on the new series coming along? "Well we haven't actually been commissioned yet, as far as I know. But if we are then we'll have to begin filming in 13 weeks from now, so we've already started working on it. At the moment I'm writing episode two of the new series, which is based on a male character. It's very exciting, it's a good, fun episode." How different will the new cast be? Will it be just new actors playing similar characters? "Yeah, it will be quite different. Obviously people will see some similarities and that's unfortunate, but we're trying really hard to have a new, fresh, different group of people who are apart from the first lot of characters. So we've got a villainous character t

Original cast to be replaced next season

It is revealed by Daniel Kaluuya, writer of the show, that the original cast will be replaced by an all new lineup for next year's third series. The show's co-creator Bryan Elsley said that as series 2 ends with the cast going off to university, it won't be possible to keep on following them and that in future, the show will operate in two year arcs with new casts. Elsley said, "It’s exciting – we never stand still. We can tell stories in a new way.” There will be open auditions held around the UK. As of now, one open audition has been held in Bristol, where the show is set, which attracted 1,500 16- to 18-year-olds. A second is planned for London in April. In addition, the team's producers have said that while series three will focus on a new lineup, some old faces may make occasional appearances. ---------------------------------- I AM SO PISSED ABOUT THIS!!!


i have updated all of the episode titles and episode descriptions. enjoy :D