Filled with suspense, horror and the struggle to discover one’s true identity, MTV puts a modern spin on one of the most popular classic films of the eighties, MGM’s “Teen Wolf”. The reinvention comes alive as a sexy thriller set against the drama of high school life with a forbidden, romantic love story at its core. Additionally, MTV steers a fearless path with the greenlight of the North American adaptation of the U.K. drama series “Skins”. Both series greenlights were announced today by MTV President of Programming, Tony DiSanto. From the creator of “Criminal Minds,” Jeff Davis, and the executive producers of “The 4400,” Rene Echevarria and “Prison Break,” Marty Adelstein, “Teen Wolf” will commence production this summer with 12 one-hour episodes. “Skins” will also begin production this summer with 10 one-hour episodes.
“We are always up for creative challenges at MTV,” said Liz Gateley, MTV Senior Vice President of Series Development. “We loved the conceit of the original film and knew the title had a great hook. The creative challenge was to take that title and reinvent it as a horror series for the MTV audience. It combines romance and high school to make ‘Teen Wolf’ the perfect thriller for MTV.”
Ms. Gateley continues, “Our goal in developing ‘Skins’ from the UK hit was to stay true to the core attributes and the creator-driven vision while also adapting it to be as relatable, real and reflective of high school life to American audiences as the original version has been to UK audience for 5 seasons. We’re thrilled to be bringing ‘Skins’ to MTV!”
David Janollari is Executive Vice President of Scripted Development. He joined MTV in January of this year to head up all new scripted development for the network with his sole focus on aggressively ramping up the scripted slate, raising the creative bar and seeking out fresh new concepts in a variety of genres. He will now partner with Ms. Gateley on “Teen Wolf” and “Skins”.
Mr. Janollari added, “MTV is serious about being in the scripted business, and these two new series are among the first steps in what will be a concentrated effort to add more scripted entertainment to our diverse slate, all created with our core demographic in mind. ‘Teen Wolf’ and ‘Skins’ offer youthful, broad-based entertainment that feel like a natural extension of the MTV brand and we believe will be relevant and resonate with our audience.”
“Teen Wolf,” stars Tyler Posey (“Maid in Manhattan,” “Brothers and Sisters”), as the newly bitten werewolf, ‘Scott McCall,’ Dylan O’Brien as his best friend ‘Stiles,’ Crystal Reed as the mysterious new girl in town, ‘Allison,’ and Tyler Hoechlin (“Road to Perdition,” “7th Heaven”) as the older and possibly quite dangerous werewolf, ‘Derek Hale.’ Always an outsider and often unnoticed, Scott McCall yearns to be recognized in some small way that takes him out of his typical state of high school anonymity. When his best friend, Stiles, convinces him to go into the woods one night to join a police search for a dead body, Scott encounters a creature in the darkness. Narrowly escaping an attack with a vicious bite in his side, the next day brings strange surprises for Scott at school and his life will never be the same.
Created by father and son team at Stormdog Films, Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, the ground-breaking series “Skins” features an ensemble cast as they navigate complex relationships, the politics of friendship and difficulties of daily life in their formative years. Elsley will be writing and executive producing the adapted version which, like the U.K version, will be largely influenced by teenagers. In 2009, MTV landed the US broadcast rights to the critically-acclaimed U.K. program.
Unknown teenagers have been cast in the lead roles and real teens will help write the storylines, similar to how Elsley wrote the UK series, now in its 5th season. The network will work collaboratively with the series producers to preserve the authenticity of the British version. The series, which aired on E4 in the UK, quickly became a commercial and critical success, winning the 2009 BAFTA Audience Award, which was voted on by the public, and Best Drama Series at the 2008 Broadcast Awards.
“Teen Wolf” is a co-production with MGM. The pilot was directed by Russell Mulcahy (“Highlander,” “Resident Evil: Extinction”) and written by Jeff Davis (creator of “Criminal Minds”). Executive Producers include Davis, Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break”) and Michael Thorn of Lost Marbles TV and Rene Echevarria (“Medium,” “Castle”). Make up effects for the first season will be supplemented by the Oscar- Winning team K.N.B Effects Group (“Predators,” “The Chronicles of Narnia”) and state-of-the-art computer graphics by EdenFX (“Lost,” “24,” “Spider-Man 3”). Liz Gateley, David Janollari and Justin Levy will serve as MTV executives in charge of production.
“Skins” will be co-produced by E1 Entertainment and Company Pictures, a division of ALL3MEDIA, the same company that produces the Channel 4 series in the UK. Elsley will Executive Produce, along with Laszlo Barna and Michael Rosenberg from E1 and Charlie Pattinson and George Faber of Company Pictures. The deal was brokered by Greg Lipstone, of ICM, which represents Company Pictures and ALL3Media. Elsley is represented by Ted Miller at CAA. Liz Gateley and David Janollari will serve as MTV executives in charge of production.