In its second week, the controversial MTV show “Skins” saw its ratings take a massive tumble, with less than half as many people tuning in for the racy adventures of its underage characters. The Parents Television Council, meanwhile, wants the government to look into whether the show violates child-pornography laws.
But one problem MTV may not need to worry about are advertisers; while “Skins” has had trouble keeping sponsors on board, the show is hardly the first in that regard.
Here are five other shows that lost ad support but went on to television dominance.
‘Married ... With Children’
The Offense: In one episode, a man wore women’s clothing and Steve touched a mannequin’s panties. Kind of quaint today, isn’t it?
The Pushback: A housewife in Michigan started a boycott in 1989 that led advertisers to drop their support of the program.
The Resolution: Ratings increased thanks to the media exposure, and the advertisers eventually returned — paying higher rates.
The Offense: Dennis Franz showed his bare buttocks often — really, really often — in the hit ABC show.
The Pushback: A 1993 boycott by the American Family Association kept the traditional prime-time drama advertisers from signing up to run spots during the show’s first few months.
The Resolution: Viewership went through the roof, and eventually advertisers — along with the Emmys — came running.
The Offense: When the show premiered in 2004, prime-time television wasn’t ready for sex scenes with supposedly 17-year-old gardeners and frank talk about partner quirks (“Rex cries when he ejaculates”).
The Pushback: When right-wing “decency” organizations threatened boycotts, Tyson Foods and Lowe’s Home Improvement, along with others, pulled their ads from the show.
The Resolution: ABC did not have to look too hard to replace Lowe’s and Tyson, and “Desperate Housewives” is now in its seventh season.
The Offense: The normally mild-mannered dramedy took a chance in Season 3 when it put two gay men in bed together post-coitus.
The Pushback: ABC lost roughly $1.5 million in advertising revenue when several sponsors withdrew from the 1989 episode.
The Resolution: The sponsors didn’t leave the series, though, and “thirtysomething” lived out the rest of the third season and the entire fourth without much controversy.
The Offense: The self-proclaimed “guidos” of “Jersey Shore” are the poster children for nearly every Italian-American stereotype.
The Pushback: Domino’s Pizza bailed after just the pilot episode in 2009.
The Resolution: The show is a hit, it just got picked up for a fourth season, and Snooki “wrote” a book. No “noid” to avoid here.