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The Daily Beast: "Skins Is Not Kiddie Porn!"

There's been a lot of furor in the last few days about MTV's adaptation of British teen drama Skins , particularly whether the show crosses the line into "child pornography." Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Skins Is Not Kiddie Porn!" As you might expect from the title, I examine, whether or not, despite the hype, MTV’s Skins breaks child-pornography laws. While I'm of the firm mind that it does not legally do so, I say that the show, a pale imitation of the original, still has plenty to be ashamed of. The conversation reminds me that just because you might disagree with something, or find it to be immoral, doesn't mean that it is in fact illegal. And that the parties who are throwing around the term "child porn" might actually have better things to do with their time: such as actually focusing on preventing and prosecuting distributors, producers, and suppliers of actual child pornography, rather t

Channel Surfing: Lost DVD Epilogue, Diane Keaton and Ellen Page Land Tilda, Julia Stiles in Talks to Join Dexter, Skins, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. (Is it just me or does it feel like this week will never end?) E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that there's still more Lost to come, including an epilogue that depicts the time that Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson) spent on the island after the events of the series finale. Emerson spilled the dirt on the sequence on G4's Attack of the Show , where told Kevin Pereira about the bonus footage on the complete series DVD. "For those people that want to pony up and buy the complete Lost series, there is a bonus feature," said Emerson. "Which is um, you could call it an epilogue. A lost scene. It's a lot; it's 12 or 14 minutes that opens a window onto that gap of unknown time between Hurley (Jorge Garcia) becoming number one and the end of the series... It's self-contained. Although, it's a rich period in the show's mythology that‘s never been explored, so who kno

Channel Surfing: Heigl to Leave "Grey's Anatomy," "Skins" Refreshes Cast Again, Tudyk Gets "Rockford" Gig, "Doctor Who" May Get Wii Game, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Katherine Heigl will be departing Grey's Anatomy for good this time, citing unnamed sources. "Series creator Shonda Rhimes has agreed to release the fast-rising movie star from her contract. It’s now up to ABC Studios and Heigl’s reps to hash out a final exit agreement," writes Ausiello. "After taking more than half of the current season off to make another movie and connect with her adopted daughter, Heigl was scheduled to return to the Grey’s set on March 1 to begin work on the five remaining episodes of the season. There’s just one problem: March 1 came and went and there was no Heigl." Long story, short: Heigl's final episode as Izzie has already aired and Heigl will not be returning to the set of Grey's Anatomy . ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) UK network E4 has commissioned two additional seasons of teen drama Skins

Turn and Face the Strain: Changes on the Season Finale of BBC America's "Skins"

Some people hate change but change, like all things in life, can't be avoided simply by hating it. Season Three of British teen drama series Skins embraced change wholeheartedly, ditching the cast of the first two seasons for a batch of fresh faces who were more age-appropriate (or, let's say age-appropriate for the original ethos of the series) than those who had already graduated from Roundview College. Kaya Scodelario's Effy provided one narrative link with the old crew, having appeared in the first two seasons as the mischievous and quixotic younger sister of our nominative series lead. Some viewers were turned off by the loss of such characters as Sid, Cassie, Tony, and Michelle. But I went into Season Three with the hope that I'd grow to love Effy, Pandora, the twins, Freddie, J.J. Naomi, and Cook as much as I did their Skins forebears. And ultimately I did. Last night's season finale of Skins ("Finale") didn't feature the entire cast but

Talk Back: "Skins" Episode Two

While I was out last night at Digital LA's entertainment media goes social panel at the Writers Guild, I'm hoping that many of you stayed in to watch the latest installment of Skins on BBC America. (BTW, astute viewers may have noticed the gorgeous new Skins Season Three promo currently running on BBC America which features a host of pithy quotes about the series from yours truly. Pretty flattering, to be honest.) Given that this is the second week of the third season--and, given the cast changes, essentially a new series in and of itself--I'm extremely curious to see what you thought of last night's episode. Are the new characters growing on you more this week or are you still missing Sid, Cassie, Tony, and the rest of the original gang? Does Effy anchor the new cast? Are you intrigued by Cook or turned off by his bluster? Are the twins adorably mismatched or just misunderstood? And, most importantly, are you going to tune in again next week? Talk back here. Nex

Talk Back: "Skins" Season Three Opener on BBC America

You had the chance to read my advance review of Skins ' third season premiere a few months ago , but now that the episode has aired in the US, I'm curious to hear what you thought. Did you miss the original cast of Sid, Tony, Michelle, Cassie, and the rest? Are you intrigued by this new batch of unruly teens? Did the tone feel slightly off between the casual and brusque sexuality of Effy and Cook and the oddness of that first day college assembly? Are you completely amused by Pandora or turned off by her sunny quirkiness? Which characters stand out most to you? And, most importantly, will you tune in again next week? Talk back here. Next week on Skins ("Cook"), Cook prepares to celebrate his seventeenth birthday, although things take a turn for the worse when he encounters a gangster by the name of Johnny White.

Reminder: "Skins" Season Three Begins Tonight on BBC America

Just a quick reminder that Season Three of British drama import Skins kicks off tonight at 9 pm ET/PT on BBC America. Featuring an entirely new cast (save Kaya Scodelario's Effy Stonem), Skins 's third season is the perfect jumping-on point for new viewers, though regular viewers of the rowdy teen series might miss Sid, Cassie, Tony, Jal, and the rest of the original gang. I reviewed the third season premiere of Skins way back in January (you can read my original advance review here ) and interviewed co-creator Jamie Brittain back at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour about what to expect from the third season, which you can read here . Be sure to come back tomorrow to discuss what you thought of the episode and about the new direction for the series and in the meantime, check out these sneak peeks at season three of Skins . Skins Season Three promo: Skins Season Three Premiere Trailer: Skins Season Three Trailer 2: An Inside Look at Skins

Channel Surfing: Miracle Laurie to Return for "Dollhouse" Season Two, Syfy Hunts for Next Big Space Opera, Terry Kinney Lured by "Mentalist," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Dollhouse creator Joss Whedon will write and direct the second season opener of the FOX drama. Meanwhile, Miracle Laurie--who played November/Mellie in Season One of Dollhouse WILL be returning for the sophomore season... in some form, anyway. "All I know for sure is that I'm coming back next season," Laurie told the Baltimore Sun . "I don't actually know in what form I'll be back. The writers are kind of teasing me…everybody knows but me." ( Baltimore Sun , Twitter ) io9 speaks to Syfy vice president of original programming Mark Stern about the channel's rebrand and its promise to find the next big space opera along the lines of Battlestar Galatica or Firefly . "The next thing that I really want to do is find the next great space opera; it's been a long time," said Stern. "And we have Stargate , but that's really not that show. And Caprica isn't really that show.

TV on DVD: "Skins: Volume Two"

Even monosyllabic cynic Effy would agree: the provocative and daring Skins is really unlike anything on American television today. I've waxed ecstatic enough about the British teen drama since it launched Stateside last year, but I have to say that I enjoyed the series' sensational sophomore season even more the second time around. Skins: Volume Two , which contains all ten episodes of the series' second season (along with a host of extras), is available for purchase on DVD starting tomorrow and, thanks to the kind folks at Warner Home Video, I was able to get an early look at the DVD box set. Season Two finds the gang in Bristol reeling from the bus accident at the end of the first season that has left Tony alive but not exactly the same person he was before. Nicholas Hoult turns in an astonishing performance as Tony Stonem as he's forced to relearn everyday activities like tying his shoes or speaking after his accident while remaining staunchly independent; in wat

Channel Surfing: "Skins" Star Rumored for "Doctor Who" Role, Melissa Leo and Rebecca Romijn Land Pilots, Matt Czruchy Returns to TV, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I don't know about you but this time change is killing me. Still, last night's episode of Chuck went a long way to making me feel better about the week. While we now know who will be playing the Eleventh Doctor, there's been much speculation about who will play the companion to the next Doctor, to be played by Matt Smith in the fifth season of Doctor Who . The latest rumor? That former Skins star Hannah Murray--who played the delightfully out-there Cassie--is in "secret chats" with the BBC about joining Smith in Doctor Who 's fifth season, set to air in 2010. "Hannah did some challenging stuff in Skins and they see her as an up-and-comer," said an unnamed BBC insider. Of course, this rumor is being floated by the News of the World , so take it with a (very large) grain of salt. ( Digital Spy , News of the World ) Oscar nominee Melissa Leo ( Frozen River ) has joined the cast of HBO ensemble dr

"Skins" Sneak Peek: Check Out Cook's Tattoo

While you've already read my advance review of the Season Three premiere episode of Skins (and my interview with Skins co-creator Jamie Brittain ), which launches on January 22nd on E4 and later this spring on BBC America, here's a chance to take a look at a scene from the first episode. Be forewarned, the clip below is definitely NSFW and features some rather, uh, adult humor as Cook (Jack O'Connell) shows the entire student body of Roundview College his unique tattoo. Be sure to come back later this week for my interview with new cast member Lily Loveless, who plays Naomi in Season Three of Skins .

More Than Skin Deep: Televisionary Talks to Jamie Brittain, Co-Creator of "Skins"

Fans of Skins might not want to hold their collective breath waiting for Sid, Cassie, Tony, and Michelle and the stars of the first two series to return, according to the series' co-creator. This past weekend, I interviewed 23-year-old Jamie Brittain, who--along with his father Bryan Elsley--co-created Skins , which airs on E4 in the UK and on BBC America in the State, to dispel some rumors and set the record straight about the highly anticipated third series of Skins , which returns with new episodes this year. (You can read my advance review of the first episode of Series Three here .) Over a pre-prandial cigarette on the terrace outside the ballroom at the Universal Hilton, where he had spoken earlier that morning on a panel for the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, Brittain denied reports that the former cast of Skins would ever reappear on the series, confirmed that a US version of Skins is in the works, and told me what to expect for the third series of

TV on DVD: "Skins: Volume One"

Every once in a while a series comes along that completely manages to alter your expectations and perceptions of a particular genre. The last time a teen drama managed to defy its pigeonholing was FOX's The O.C. , which offered a series that offered a wink and nudge to the classic tropes of the genre, which is gently tweaked, while also offering engaging storylines for its adult characters, a trend that the CW's Gossip Girl has continued to in its stead. So when UK digital network E4 launched teen drama Skins , created by Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, in 2007 (US digital cabler BBC America aired it Stateside last year), I was once again blown away by how this series imploded stereotypes about teen dramas and transformed my views on what the genre was capable of. Paradoxically offering both a heightened sense of reality and a grounded look at teen culture today, Skins managed to capture not only an age-appropriate audience who quickly fell under the spell of its characters,

Sex, Drugs, and ASBOs: An Advance Review of "Skins" Season Three

Um, like, wow. I've been on pins and needles since the second season of Skins wrapped up last month here in the US. After all, the new season of Skins would feature not only a new beginning but largely an entirely new cast, save for Kaya Scodelario's Effy Stonem and Lisa Backwell's Pandora. Would the new gang of Bristol teens grab my attention as much as Tony, Michelle, Sid, Cassie, and the others had done over the course of the first two seasons? Would it feel like an entirely different new series? The answer to both, luckily, is an resounding yes . Last week, I watched the superb third season premiere of Skins (which launches in the UK on January 22nd ) and I'm thrilled to report that this new season is not only a great jumping on point for people who haven't been watching the last two seasons (though shame on you if you haven't caught this smart and slick series) but it also effortlessly introduces a new batch of teens who are a mix of cocky, confident,

First Look: "Skins" Season Three

Already missing British teen series Skins , which wrapped its US run last month ? Fret not, readers, as I have a first look at Season Three of Skins , launching in the UK on E4 this month and later this spring on BBC America. ( UPDATE : You can read my advance review of the third season premiere here .) Season Three of Skins introduces a whole new cast, in addition to Kaya Scodelario's Effy Stonem, Tony's younger sister memorably introduced in Season One, and new friend Pandora (Lisa Backwell). Joining the cast of Skins for the third season: Jack O’Connell ( This Is England ), Luke Pasqualino, Ollie Barbieri, Megan Prescott, Kathryn Prescott, Lily Loveless, and Merveille Lukeba. While I previously reported some casting announcements for Season Three of Skins , I received the official press release from UK network E4 this morning, along with some images of the new cast. And, oh, did I mention I also received and the official trailer for Season Three? You can view the new