New series on teens who engage in MMA begins Jan. 9

MTV has set Jan. 9 for the debut of its upcoming reality series “Caged.”

Skein follows of a group of small-town Louisiana teens who engage in cage fighting to help them cope with the struggles in their lives. The amateur mixed martial arts bouts give the protagonists a sense of accomplishment both inside and outside the ring.

“We’re always looking for subcultures to explore and do a deep dive into their lives,” MTV programming topper David Janollari told Variety when the show was first announced earlier this year. “What I love about the show is that it’s not just about fighting but examining life in every-town America.”

Ten-episode series, which will air 10 p.m. Mondays, is produced by the net’s news and docu division. Joke Fincioen, Biagio Messina, Dave Sirulnick and Amy Bailey exec produce.

On the scripted side, net will debut the half-hour laffer “I Just Want My Pants Back” at 11 p.m. Feb. 2. Skein, which is set for a 12-episode run, had a sneak following the Aug. 28 Video Music Awards and drew 5.1 million viewers.

Series, based on the David J. Rosen novel of the same name, is exec produced by Doug Liman, who directed the pilot; David Bartis; and Rosen, who wrote the first episode. Universal Cable Prods. is producing with MTV Prods.

Cabler will also launch the fifth season of its most popular show, “Jersey Shore,” on Jan. 5.

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