Network topper David Janollari 'happy' with series

On the heels of the 1.4 million overall viewers who tuned in to the third episode of “Skins” on Monday night, MTV topper David Janollari said that despite advertiser dropouts, he’s comfortable with the creative direction of the show.

“We’ve had enormous sampling,” Janollari told Variety . “The idea was to get it launched in a big way, and it’s exceeding our expectations. We’re very happy with the numbers and the buzz. What we’re most happy about, though, is the response from audiences, which is overwhelmingly positive.”

“Skins” launched to 3.3 million viewers in its Jan. 17 preem, but the Brit import had the advantage of an original “Jersey Shore” episode as a lead-in. Without the Garden State gang to help them last week, the number dropped to 1.6 million.

Janollari said “Skins” creator Bryan Elsley had warned him the show would likely be controversial. The Parents Television Council immediately began weighing in after the first episode, saying that the series was breaking child pornography laws.

“Having been through this with the U.K. version, Bryan was well aware of all this,” Janollari said, who added that there was no chance the show would be taken off the air before finishing its 10-episode run.

Adding to a slew of advertisers who have bailed out of the show, Proactiv was the latest company to say goodbye Tuesday. Others companies who have already said they didn’t want to advertise during “Skins” include General Motors, Wrigley, Taco Bell and Schick.

Janollari said the network hasn’t lost a dollar because of the advertiser rejections, and that film studios are holding firm on advertising during “Skins.” The studios are often tubthumping pics that appeal to a teen aud, which is the skein’s targeted demo.

Janollari said “Skins” has played a vital role in helping MTV develop a more robust scripted slate. Next up is season two of “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” slated for March.

“Teen Wolf,” a smallscreen adaptation of the Michael J. Fox pic, will likely debut in the summer.

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