Nellie Andreeva

Spike TV is recalibrating its male demo focus with a new scripted slate catering to the older portion of the 18-49 demographic. The cable network’s development slate features 6 comedies from such auspices as  veteran SNL and 30 Rock director Beth McCarthy Miller, top reality producer Thom Beers, and Wild Hogs director Walt Becker as well as one drama. ”We have spent the last few years successfully bringing in Men 18-34 with a mix of action, outrageous comedy and fun infotainment.” said Spike TV president Kevin Kay. “Now we’re focused on bringing 25-49 year-olds with scripted fare that they can relate to – especially workplace and family humor.” He described Spike’s new development as “a little broader, more content (aka advertiser)-friendly and a little bit older.” The network’s projects also feature more strong female characters, Kay said. The goal is to find a companion for Spike’s hit comedy Blue Mountain State and launch a comedy block. As for drama F.T.W., Kay said he wasn’t looking to develop in the hourlong arena but loved the spec script and found it very timely as it deals with an undercover officer infiltrating extremist militia. The trend of Spike going older and broader is not limited only to the scripted side. In the reality area, it is exemplified by the recently greenlighted coal mining docu series from Beers. Here is a list of Spike’s new scripted projects with descriptions:

 

THUNDERBALLS

This half-hour comedic series follows three life-long friends who comprise a beer league bowling team called the “Thunderballs.” The show chronicles their efforts to balance their battle for supremacy at the lanes with their crazy personal and family lives.  The project is written by Jim and Steve Armogida (Grounded for Life) and executive produced by Walt Becker.

UNTITLED AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS COMEDY

The producers of Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers introduce a high-stakes workplace comedy focusing on the fun-loving yet dysfunctional men and women air traffic controllers at a major international airport. The project is being penned by Andrew Waller and Mike Gagerman (Road to Nardo). Thom Beers and Philip D. Segal will executive produce for Original Productions.

 

 

UNTITLED BETH McCARTHY MILLER PROJECT

From acclaimed 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live director, Beth McCarthy Miller, comes a ripped-from-the-headlines comedy about a veteran sports writer and the crazy world of modern-day athletes he reports on.  The project will be executive produced by Miller and written and executive produced by Steven Brill (Mr. Deeds)

POWERBALL

When a 30-something loser who still lives with his parents wins the multi-million dollar Powerball lottery, he decides to use his newfound wealth to buy the love and respect of his family and community. The half-hour single camera comedy comes from Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Steven Cragg (Mad TV) and will be produced by Principato-Young Entertainment with Peter Pricipato, Paul Young and Joel Zadak serving as executive producers.

 

AT EASE

Two misfit U.S. Army drill sergeants utilize unorthodox methods to turn an endless stream of recruits into the greatest fighting force on earth while staying one step ahead of an uptight new captain with a grudge.  The show is written by Gabe Snyder and Mike Alber (Jailbait).

UNTITLED FAMILY BARBECUE COMEDY

Tired of the corporate rat race, a “Clark Griswold”-type cashes in his 401k and drags his family kicking and screaming to pursue his dream of competing on the professional barbecue circuit.   The show is written by veteran scribe Russell Marcus (Married with Children).

F.T.W.

A gritty one-hour drama focusing on an Atlanta police officer who is recruited by the Department of Homeland Security to return to his hometown and infiltrate a militia organization linked to domestic terrorism with which he has familial ties.  The project is written by Craig Gore and Tim Walsh.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.