EXCLUSIVE: One of the most famous personal feuds in the business world — between flamboyant developers Donald Trump and Steve Wynn — is the subject of The War At The Shore, an event series in …
EXCLUSIVE: Spike TV has put in development Basket Case, a drama with a comedic bent based on the best-selling novel by author and journalist Carl Hiaasen, with Rob Reiner on board to direct and executive produce. The project, from FremantleMedia North America in association with Random House Television Prods. and Castle Rock Entertainment, will be written by Alex Taub (Drop Dead Diva). It centers on a great investigative reporter who has trouble dealing with authority, change, women, success, and most of all, corruption. After he savages his paper’s powerful new owner, he is demoted to the obituary desk, which gives him a unique window into suspicious deaths and weird goings on in crime-ridden Miami. Using an unusual team of friends, relatives, an ex-wife, newspaper misfits, and his beautiful new boss, he strives to regain his investigative credibility and a saner life. “Corruption, murder, and laughs. I can’t think of a more satisfying combination,” Reiner said. “Carl Hiaasen strikes the perfect balance. I’m so looking forward to entering his twisted world.” Added Hiaasen, “Among writers of satire, Spinal Tap stands as a work of genius. I’m excited to see what Rob will do with my twisted little novel.”
When it signaled a return to scripted series in April, Spike bet heavily on event series, which made up its entire spring scripted development slate. The deal for Basket Case does not mean a change of course. “Though our primary focus has been on finding marquee Limited Event Series, we have vowed that when an unbelievable opportunity for a series presents itself, we will be ready to pounce,” said Spike TV’s EVP Sharon Levy: “It doesn’t get much better than Hiaasen and Reiner for Spike.”
EXCLUSIVE: Spike TV, which earlier this year signaled a return to scripted programming through event series, has added another such project to its development slate — a new look at the story of Tutankhamun, aka King Tut (1333 to 1323 BC), the youngest Pharaoh to rule Ancient Egypt. The six-part series, from Canadian production company MUSE Entertainment (The Kennedys), is based on historical facts from recently discovered DNA evidence. It explores the drama of power, political backstabbing, war and murder and chronicles King Tut’s rise to glory, his efforts to rule a chaotic empire and the enigma surrounding his death.
Spike TV has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of the new original series in which restaurateur Jon Taffer and expert chefs John Besh and Tiffany Derry reach out and help “diamond in the rough” failing restaurants meet their …
EXCLUSIVE: After a year break from scripted programming, following the end of comedy Blue Mountain State, Spike TV is returning to the arena with a new approach — betting on special-event series. The cable network’s scripted development slate includes five event series, including behind-the-scenes account of the 2012 terrorist attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, whose aftermath still echoes in Washington. The projects hail from such auspices as Tom Fontana, Chris Collins, Leslie Greif, Rock God & Gene Simmons, Bobby Moresco, Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels, Craig Piligian and Dimitri Doganis & Bart Layton. “We’re concentrated on launching one or more special event series that we see as a great way to get to hour dramatic series,” said Spike TV’s EVP Original Series Sharon Levy, who oversees the network’s scripted development. Each project features Spike’s mission to thrill, inspire, and entertain as we’re broadening and expanding our brand.”
This marks Spike TV’s return to its scripted roots — the network’s last foray into scripted was with the 2007 event series The Kill Point. While the focus is for all five projects to be true events that “everyone wants to watch when it happens and that have a zeitgeist element to them,” some could live on beyond the original run, Levy said. For instance, Hit Men, a drama from Greif and Simmons about the mob’s takeover of the 1970s music industry, could continue as a series, while iHuman, about the intersection of technology and humanity and how their relationship evolves, could become an umbrella of films tackling the subject. Here are details about Spike TV’s scripted projects in development:
Spike TV Unveils Unscripted Development Slate That Includes Projects With Graham Elliot, Adam Carolla & Jon Taffer
Spike TV has announced its 2013 development slate that features unscripted projects starring Graham Elliot, Adam Carolla, and Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer that tackle such topics as shoddy contractors and auto body shop mechanics, underground restaurants, small company acquisitions, money lending and negligent homeowners and hail from Eyeworks USA, Shine America, Thinkfactory, THE Co., Stone & Co., Matador, and Left/Right Prods. The new projects are designed to capitalize on the recent success of Ink Master, Tattoo Nightmares and Bar Rescue, said Spike TV’s EVP original series Sharon Levy. “They all share high stakes, smart edge and credible, charismatic TV personalities.” All of the shows also target the adult 18-49 demographics. Originally focused on males 18-34, Spike TV in the past couple of years had focused on expanding its reach to the older range of the 18-49 spectrum, while holding onto its young viewers. The network’s median age is now 40 for original series. In addition to its unscripted efforts, Spike TV is making a big push in scripted, looking to re-enter the space. Here are descriptions of Spike’s reality development slate:
TO CATCH A CONTRACTOR
Adam Carolla is not just a renowned television, radio, and internet personality with one of the most-downloaded podcasts in the world, he is also a passionate, knowledgeable construction expert. In this pilot, Carolla serves as a vigilant watchdog to homeowners or businesses who have been cheated by a contractor and left with an unfinished disaster. Carolla, along with no-nonsense contractor Skip Bedell, hunts down the shoddy builder and gets retribution for the owner by making them fix the disaster and finish the job. Eyeworks USA created the pilot for Spike TV. Executive Producers for Eyeworks USA are JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, DJ Nurre, and Kevin Harris.
Tattoo Rescue follows New Jersey tattoo artist Joey Germinario as he and his team travel the country turning failing ink studios into profitable ones, dealing with belligerent owners, obstinate artists and grungy shops with serious health code violations along the way. Spike TV has ordered 10 episodes of the one-hour series, from Charlie Corwin’s Original Media. The series is set to debut next summer. Sweatshop Media also exec produces. The network also announced it has picked up a second season of World’s Worst Tenants, which follows eviction specialist Todd Howard as he and his team forcibly remove problem tenants from the properties they manage. The first season of the half-hour original series, which aired over the summer, averaged 1 million viewers and grew its time slot in key demos. Barry Poznick and John Stevens of Zoo Productions are producers.
Spike TV has given a 10-episode series order to Urban Tarzan, a half-hour show starring extreme animal handler known as “UrbanTarzan” (formerly John Brennan who legally changed his name to the one word UrbanTarzan) who rescues, captures, and relocates …
EXCLUSIVE: Don Mischer will get to produce a TV special starring Eddie Murphy after all. Mischer, who produced this year’s Academy Awards that had Murphy attached as host early on, will executive produce a televised tribute to the comedy actor, which will air on Spike TV. Titled Eddie Murphy: One Night Only, the event will tape on Saturday, November 3 at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles for a broadcast on Nov. 16 on Spike TV. The special will mark 30 years since the release of Murphy’s famous stand-up special Delirious! and the film 48 Hrs., which made him a movie star.
It will highlight Murphy’s career from a 15-year-old aspiring comedian to a Saturday Night Live breakout and a comedy feature superstar and will feature Murphy’s co-stars from many of his films including 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming To America, The Nutty Professor, Shrek, and Dreamgirls. The two-hour show will include short films, musical performances and sketch comedy, culminating in an appearance by Murphy.