Although it doesn't premiere until January 17, Skins — the UK series famous for depicting sex, substance abuse and other teenage past times — already has a tough road ahead.
According to the New York Times, "MTV sought [the show] specifically for its boundary-pushing content while knowing that it could not break as many rules on American television."
The first season of the original, UK version of Skins included a character's visit to an eating disorder clinic; a character attempting suicide by drug overdose; homosexuality; manipulation; cheating; naked cell phone photos getting sent around; a female character being drugged and held for ransom and a character getting hit by a bus. In addition, she show has had bare asses, bare breasts, lots of sex scenes (and same-sex sex scenes) and one infamous baby-dropping scene. (There's a nice clip of some of the things you will probably not see in the US version here.)
Bryan Elsley, co-creator of the original show, is working on the MTV version, but admits that things will not be easy: "When you do things the fans don't like, they really turn on you. When characters die in the show, there's trouble. When people have the wrong sexuality or sexual behavior, there's trouble. And when you bring the show to America, there's trouble."
Skins will have a TV-MA rating — meaning it's for viewers 18 and over and can't air before 10 p.m. But perhaps worst of all, the characters can't just snort a line of blow and go along their merry way:
David Janollari, who runs MTV's programming division, said that in several conversations with the network's standards and practices department, executives had to explain, "When you see someone doing drugs, you want to see the consequences in that episode - well, now, the consequences may not happen till three episodes later."
Ugh, consequences. What self-respecting teenager wants to see that?
Below, the trailer for the original, UK version of Skins, complete with bong, pills, coke, humping and vomit: