Gosh, I hope it’s not true. If/when I have little ones myself someday, I’d love to be able to plop them down in front of this show for a few hours while I do chores.

Or, I suppose, I could just put a DVD of “Kids” on and loop it.

In recent days, executives at the cable channel became concerned that some scenes from the provocative new show “Skins” may violate federal child pornography statutes…

Child pornography is defined by the United States as any visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In some cases, “a picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive,” according to the Justice Department’s legal guidance. Anyone younger than 18 is considered to be a minor.

The youngest cast member on “Skins” is 15…

It is unclear when MTV first realized that the show may be vulnerable to child pornography charges. On Tuesday, a flurry of meetings took place at the network’s headquarters in New York, according to an executive who attended some of the meetings and spoke only on the condition of anonymity. In one of the meetings, the executives wondered aloud who could possibly face criminal prosecution and jail time if the episodes were broadcast without changes.

The scene they’re most worried about, apparently, is one showing a naked 17-year-old actor from behind as he runs down the street with some sort of Viagra-fueled erection. In fact, according to a lawyer who talked to Fox News, merely editing out scenes like that might not be enough for MTV to avoid criminal liability. You’re guilty of a child porn offense if you merely possess illegal footage — and simply erasing it could amount to destruction of evidence.

In case you’re wondering, and I know you are, the total number of viewers under age 18 for the series premiere, according to Nielsen: 1.2 million. Good work, mom and dad.

News Busters has more on the particulars of the premiere, but here’s the trailer to give you a taste. Exit question: Still not as viscerally offensive as “Jersey Shore,” right?

Update: At the Daily Beast, Jace Lacob says the scene with the naked boy isn’t played for titillation at all (although other, less graphic scenes assuredly are) and raises an even more disturbing possibility — whether MTV is actually leaking the “child porn” angle to the media to drum up press for the show.

In fact, there’s nothing remotely in that sequence that could constitute a breach of the federal child pornography statute. Even the simulated acts of sexual intercourse, masturbation, etc. that occur within Skins—which are more troubling than the context of the bare buttocks here—still don’t constitute a violation, as there’s nothing explicit about them nor do they feature nude genitalia or breasts, or any content that could be perceived as crossing the line into what’s legally defined as pornography…

The more cynical among us might wonder whether the story in the New York Times was intended by MTV to generate controversy and bring more viewers to the series in the first place by playing up the more salacious aspects of the show. Which, if true, is extremely troubling, if not vile. It’s one thing to be sensitive to the concern of whether child pornography laws were being violated, but it’s quite another to use fears of child porn in order to further leverage a show.