MTV To Develop U.S. Version of British Hit 'Skins'
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 24 -- After intense competition, MTV has landed the rights to develop a U.S. version of the award-winning U.K. phenomenon "Skins," it was announced today by Liz Gateley, Senior Vice President, MTV Series Development. Created by father and son team, Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, the E4 and Channel 4 series is about a group of British teenagers who are trying to grow up and find love and happiness. Brian Elsley will be writing and executive producing the U.S. version.
In an effort to maintain the original production's successful model wherein all the stories were written by a group of British teenagers, MTV will similarly join together unknown teenagers to write and star in the series. The producers intend to set the show in Baltimore, Maryland.
"'Skins' is one of those rare shows that cuts through to its core audience with unusually authentic stories due to the unique writing and casting process that Bryan pioneered. Having personally pursued the U.K. project for almost two years, I am beyond thrilled to bring it to MTV in the U.S. We intend to preserve the authenticity of the British version and are excited to collaborate with the original team to develop stories that will speak to American youth," said Liz Gateley, Senior Vice President, MTV Series Development.
"We are delighted to be making 'Skins' for the U.S. and in particular, for MTV who have embraced the show and its ambitions and unusual production process. We are looking forward to talking to teenagers across the U.S. and making a show that reflects their lives in every aspect," said Charlie Pattinson, CEO, Company Pictures.
"Skins" instantly became a critical and commercial hit in the U.K. especially among young adults as it was the third highest-rated show of the year on E4 reaching 1.2 million P2+ viewers and achieved a massive 61% of 16-34 year olds. The series won a 2009 BAFTA Audience Award, which was voted on by the public, and Best Drama Series at the 2008 Broadcast Awards.
"Skins" will be produced by Company Pictures, a division of ALL3MEDIA, and Stormdog, the same companies that produce the Channel 4 series in the U.K. Bryan Elsley, of Stormdog, will Executive Produce and write the U.S. version, along with Executive Producers Charlie Pattinson and George Faber, both of Company Pictures. The deal was brokered by Greg Lipstone, of ICM, which represents Company Pictures and ALL3Media. Bryan Elsley is represented by Ted Miller at CAA.
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 27 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries -- giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV is the number one rated full-day ad-supported cable network for P12-24. Online, MTV.com averaged 21.7 million monthly unique visitors during the first quarter of 2009 -- up +7% from the 4Q/2008. Total video streams for the first quarter of 2009 increased by 13% from 4Q/2008 and by 21% over the same time period last year. And MTV's successful sibling networks MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving music fans, college students and young American Latinos like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
Company Pictures is one of the U.K.'s largest independent television drama and film production companies. Established in 1998 television production highlights include Generation Kill (HBO: 11 Emmy nominations), Skins created by Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain (E4: Bafta Audience Award, Best Drama Series at the Broadcast Awards), Shameless (Channel 4: winner Best Series at the Baftas, Broadcast Awards, The Indie Awards and RTS Awards), Elizabeth 1 (Channel 4 and HBO: nine emmys, three golden globes and a Peabody Award), The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (HBO: winner two Golden Globe Awards for Best TV Movie and Best Actor for Geoffrey Rush), North Square (Channel 4: winner Best Series Press Guild), Bafta-nominated Anna Karenina for Channel 4, A Young Person's Guide to Being a Rockstar (RTS award Best Serial) for Channel 4 and Warner Bros, Wild at Heart (ITV), Life Is Wild (The CW), Shot Through the Heart ((HBO/BBC: winner of Peabody Award), Bafta-nominated The Devil's Whore (Channel 4: RTS award for Best Drama Serial, Best writer for Peter Flannery and Best Actress for Andrea Riseborough) and Not Only But Always. . . (Channel 4: Best Single Film BANFF and BAFTA for Best Actor for Rhys Ifans).
This year Company Pictures is producing further series of Wild At Heart, Shameless, and Skins. New shows include a four part serial for BBC1 called The Silence, and the second Martina Cole adaptation The Runaway for SkyOne.
Amongst its numerous awards Company Pictures has won Best Independent Production Company at the Broadcast awards in 2004 and 2008, European Producers of the Year Award at the 2004 Monte Carlo Awards, four Golden Globes, twelve Emmy Awards and BAFTAs.
Since October 2004 Company Pictures has been a part of the ALL3Media group.