The second episode of "Skins"—which chronicles the fictional lives of a group of teenagers as they delve into sex, drinking and drugs—drew 1.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Co. That was down 51% from last week, when 3.3 million people tuned in to the premiere.
"Skins" likely suffered at least in part from a weaker lead-in show. The Jan. 17 show was plumped by fans tuning into a special episode of reality hit "The Jersey Shore" in the previous hour.
This Monday, "Skins" followed a "Jersey Shore" rerunthat had originally aired last Thursday. That episode, "Free Snooki," drew a record 8.87 million viewers when it first aired last Thursday, but captured only 1.2 million viewers on Monday night before "Skins."
A spokeswoman for MTV said the lead-in show could continue to shift in coming weeks.
The pressure to attract viewers has escalated after a raft of national advertisers fled "Skins," scared off by its depiction of teen sexuality and drug use.
Eight companies that advertised on the first episode, including L'Oréal SA and Foot Locker Inc., have backed out after being targeted by the Parents Television Council watchdog group, which dubbed "Skins" the "most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen."
National advertising on the second episode appeared to be dominated by movie studios
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