Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 11:05 UK

MTV to make US version of Skins

The original version of Skins follows a group of Bristol teenagers

MTV is to develop an American version of the hit E4 teen drama Skins, it has been announced.

Programme makers said they would "preserve the authenticity" of the original show, which featured scenes of drug taking and casual sex.

The new version will follow a group of teenagers in Baltimore, Maryland.

The UK version, which has just finished its third series, has already aired in the US on BBC America. It is unknown when the US series will be screened.

MTV said it secured the rights to the show after two years of "intense competition".

'Authentic stories'

Bryan Elsley, who co-created the original British version of Skins with his son Jamie Brittain, will also write and executive produce the US version.

The series has courted controversy with its risque storylines

In an effort to maintain the original production model where the stories were sourced from a group of British teenagers, MTV will also seek out unknown teenagers to write and star in the series.

"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," said Liz Gateley, MTV's senior vice president of series development.

"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."

Skins regularly pulled in more than a million viewers on E4 and has been a critical success, winning a Rose d'Or award last year and also a 2009 Bafta Audience Award, voted on by the public.

It caused controversy last May when the Advertising Standards Authority banned a poster promoting the series after it featured two of the stars surrounded by couples apparently taking part in an orgy.

A fourth series is currently in production.

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