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Spike TV Sets Original Event Series Based On The Crusades

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 10:09am PDT

Spike TV Sets Original Event Series Based On The CrusadesSpike TV is partnering with Pierce Brosnan’s Irish Dreamtime, Mark Sennet Entertainment, Michael Finch and Oscar-winning writer David Franzoni to develop a script for an event series based on the Crusades. The Crusaders takes place during the Third Crusade, after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin’s armies, and centers on two very different knights who journey from Scotland to the Holy Land for very different reasons. This is the second Crusade-themed project to surface in recent months. In May, History announced it was teaming with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on a four-hour miniseries which tracks the origins of the mystic medieval Christian order known as Knights Templar. The mini tells the true story of three brothers, all knights, during the first Crusade, as they make the long journey through the Holy Lands to recapture Jerusalem, ultimately bringing rise to the Knights Templar.
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Ben Kingsley To Star In Spike TV’s ‘Tut’ Event Series

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 9:21am PDT

Ben Kingsley To Star In Spike TV’s ‘Tut’ Event SeriesOscar winner Ben Kingsley has been tapped for a starring role in Spike TV’s Tut. He will play Ay, the Grand Vizier to King Tutankhamun, who wields tremendous power and influence as the top advisor to the young Egyptian ruler The six-hour event series revolves around Tutankhamun, aka King Tut (who reigned c. 1333 to 1323 BC), the youngest Pharaoh to rule Ancient Egypt, whose famous golden sarcophagus has become one of the symbols of the ancient civilization. Shooting begins this fall in Morocco and Canada. It’s slated to debut in 2015.
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Spike TV Teams With Kapital Entertainment For Thriller Drama Project, Unscripted Pilot

By | Friday June 27, 2014 @ 11:11am PDT

Spike TV Teams With Kapital Entertainment For Thriller Drama Project, Unscripted PilotEXCLUSIVE: Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment is getting in business with Spike TV, both on the scripted and unscripted sides. The cable network, which has been ramping up scripted development, has inked a premium deal for an hourlong political thriller drama project. It will be written by Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff (TNT’s Legends) based on an idea by Kaplan.

Additionally, the network has entered a 3-for-1 agreement with Kapital on the reality side. Under the pact, Kaplan will develop three unscripted projects, one of which is guaranteed to go to pilot. This marks Kapital’s first formal foray into reality programming. Read More »

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Viacom Sued By Extra Injured On ‘World’s Worst Tenants’ Shoot

By | Tuesday June 24, 2014 @ 8:47pm PDT

Viacom Sued By Extra Injured On ‘World’s Worst Tenants’ ShootHere’s the latest legal action — at least the third in four months — involving the star of a reality show allegedly roughing up someone on the set. There was that slap fight on Lifetime’s Dance Moms, and the guy on Spike TV‘s Bar Rescue who went after a Vegas doctor. This time an extra on Spike’s World’s Worst Tenants is claiming assault and battery and negligence. Joshua Frager says he broke his collarbone after being shoved by series star Todd Howard, an ex-Marine who on the show is a “professional evictor, which is like a bouncer who stands guard at rental properties instead of nightclubs.” In his suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), Frager names as defendants Viacom International, America’s Finest Television Corp, Zoo Production, Stevens and others (Spike is not among them). The plaintiff says that in January 2013, he was an extra in a Season 2 episode of Worst Tenants that was filming at Mount Waterman near Pasadena. Frager says he “was asked by Defendants through their agents/employees to fake a fall. Plaintiff is not a trained stunt person. During filming, the star of the show Howard forcefully pushed Plaintiff backwards to trigger the fall and as a result Plaintiff fell down the slope of the mountain on which the filming was taking place breaking his collar bone, injuring his arm and suffering other injuries to his person including soft-tissue injuries, bruising and lacerations.” Read More »

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Spike TV Developing Drama Set In Financial World With Julian McMahon, Ben Silverman

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

chairmanEXCLUSIVE: “We’re on the hunt for a drama series next,” Spike TV EVP Original Series Sharon Levy told Deadline a month ago when the network made its return to scripted programming with a green light to event series Tut. The network has added another hopeful to its drama development slate, suspense thriller The Chairman, executive produced by actor Julian McMahon, Electus‘ Ben Silverman and former AMC executive-turned-producer Jeremy Elice. I hear the project is being eyed as a potential starring vehicle for Nip/Tuck alum McMahon.

julianmcmahonBased on the Stephen Frey novel and to be adapted by Mergers & Acquisitions author and Vanity Fair contributor Dana Vachon, Chairman tells the story of Christian Gillette, a charismatic Gulf War veteran who takes over a billion-dollar private equity fund after its founder’s mysterious death. As his new powers open secret doors he realizes that the world of apparently gentrified Manhattan finance is closely tied to the brutal realm of war that still haunts him — and that some of its most dangerous players are now his inherited enemies.

spike_logo__130605171517-275x154__130821185607 (1)Frey, who himself is a managing director at a private equity firm, has set most of his novels in the financial world, including the Gillette series of four books, launched by The Chairman. Silverman, McMahon, Elice and Vachon executive produce with David Schiff and ROAR’s Greg Suess, while Electus’ Sean Canino serves as co-exec producer. Read More »

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Spike TV Sets Tattoo-Themed ‘Ink Shrinks’ Special That Could Spawn New Series

By | Tuesday May 20, 2014 @ 8:47am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Spike TVspike_logo__130605171517-275x154__130821185607-1__140331195416 is looking to expand its slate of tattoo-themed programming. Building on the success of its Ink Master and Tattoo Nightmares series and ahead of Ink Master’s fourth season finale tonight, Spike TV has greenlit a half-hour pilot special Ink Shrinks to premiere this fall with an eye toward a series. Ink Shrinks features a forward-thinking team of artists, psychologists and other professionals who prescribe “blind” tattoos as a means of healing. After discussing their clients’ issues, the team will design a unique tattoo to help jump start the mending process. The clients put their faith in the ‘ink shrinks’ as they won’t know what their tattoo looks like until the session is complete and the artwork is irreversible. The pilot special is produced for Spike TV by Eastern (Love & Hip Hop). Spike TV’s Ink Master is wrapping its fourth and most watched season to date — averaging 1.9 million viewers — tonight at 10 PM.

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Spike TV Expanding ‘Tattoo Nightmares’ Franchise To Miami

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 3:32pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Spike TVtattoo is heading to Miami for a spinoff of its successful LA-set Tattoo Nightmares series. The network has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of Tattoo Nightmares Miami from SallyAnn Salsano. It’s slated to go into production this spring for premiere in the fall in conjunction with the fifth season of the network’s other tattoo franchise, Ink Master. Tattoo Nightmares Miami will feature three new tattoo artists — Clint Cummings, a former contestant on Ink Master Season 2; local artist Samuel Suarez, better known to his clients as High Noon; and Reese Hilburn, a female fine artist and tattooist from Southern California — who will tackle cover-ups as well as create and execute extreme original tattoos. That could include tattooing spike_logo__130605171517-275x154__130821185607 (1)someone’s head, eyelid, or a major surgery scar. Tattoo Nightmares’ current season is averaging 1.1 million viewers, improving the time period by 147% in adults 18-49 and 82% in viewers. Tattoo Nightmares and Tattoo Nightmares Miami are produced by 495 Prods, with founder and president Salsano serving as executive producer along with Joel Zimmer.

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Spike TV Greenlights ‘Tut’ Six-Hour Event Series For Return To Scripted Programming

By | Monday May 5, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

King Tut Spike TV SeriesEXCLUSIVE: Exactly a year after signaling its intention to return to scripted programming with event series, Spike TV has greenlighted Tut, a six-hour series about Tutankhamun, aka King Tut (who reigned c. 1333 to 1323 BC), the youngest Pharaoh to rule Ancient Egypt, whose famous golden sarcophagus has become one of the symbols of the ancient civilization. This marks the first event/limited series for Spike since 2007′s The Kill Point, just as the genre is mounting a big comeback on television. “It spike tvcouldn’t be a better time for Spike to re-enter the scripted arena,” said EVP Original Series Sharon Levy, noting the network’s success on the unscripted side with such series as Bar Rescue and Ink Master. “We’re on the hunt for a drama series next,” she said, adding that she envisions “the future of Spike as a blend of event and drama series” on the scripted side.

Tut, which will premiere in 2015 supported by a full-bore marketing campaign, also marks the first time King Tut’s story has been told on television. The event series, from Canadian production company Muse Entertainment (The Kennedys), chronicles Tut’s rise to power and his struggle to lead Egypt to glory, while his closest advisers, friends and lovers scheme for their own nefarious interests. “It’s a big, epic story with complex characters, remarkable heroes and strong women,” Levy said. Tut will be shot on location in Morocco and Canada this fall. Read More »

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Spike TV Renews ‘Catch A Contractor’ For Second Season

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:43am PDT

Spike TV has orderedcontractors a 10-episode second season of unscripted series Catch A Contractor hosted by Adam Carolla, slated for debut in the fall. Spike also is extending the new episodes to an hour, up from the current half-hour. Carolla, who happens to be a master carpenter, serves as a vigilant watchdog to homeowners who have been cheated by a contractor and left with an unfinished disaster. In each episode, Carolla, along with no-nonsense contractor Skip Bedell and his wife, investigator Alison Bedell, track down shady, evasive contractors, drag them back to their construction disasters and make them finish the job right. Catch A Contractor debuted March 9 and is averaging 1.2 million viewers after seven episodes. Eyeworks USA created the series, with JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, DJ Nurre and Brant Pinvidic executive producing.

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Sports Comedy ‘Blue Mountain State’ Seeking Movie Resurrection Via Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 6:14pm PDT

Blue Mountain State movie KickstarterSpike comedy series Blue Mountain State was cancelled in 2012 after three seasons, but a second life on Netflix and Hulu reinvigorated fan interest. Now the show’s creators are hoping to channel that demand into a big-screen film continuation with a Kickstarter campaign launched today. “We’ve seen fan activity on social media since the show ended and went on to Netflix, and we’ve seen the audience continue to grow through that platform,” said Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), who played high-strung All-American linebacker Thad Castle on the show and is aboard to produce the film project with co-creators Chris Romano and Eric Falconer. “When they find it on Netflix, they also find out it’s no longer airing on Spike or being made. A lot of them are asking for another season. We didn’t get our senior year and we want to do that.”

Ritchson, Romano and Falconer seek to raise a minimum of $1.5M to produce a Blue Mountain State movie based on the series, an idea that’s been brewing since Spike cancelled the show. Producer Lionsgate TV passed on doing a feature film but sold the rights back to Ritchson and company and retain a first-look option on the potential movie.

Taking a beloved TV series to the big screen through crowdfunding worked well for recent Kickstarter successes Veronica Mars, which raised $5.7M and opened day-and-date via Warner Bros last month, and Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here, which raised $3.1M and opens July 18 through Focus Features. Both high-profile films, however, also encountered their own high-profile snafus. Read More »

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Spike TV Renews ‘Auction Hunters’ For Season 5

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 9:37am PDT

spike_logo__130605171517-275x154__130821185607 (1)Spike TV‘s longest-running non-scripted original series Auction Hunters has been renewed for a fifth season, with the network ordering 20 episodes that will go into production this summer and debut in the fall. The fourth season of the series, which wrapped last week, averaged 1.5 million viewers in the Saturday 9 PM time slot, growing the slot in the adults 18-34 demo by 25%. The new season of the series, produced by Duck Dynasty producer Gurney Productions, will see stars Allen Haff and Ton Jones expand their horizons to more than just storage unit auctions, hitting the road in search of the best deals from cattle to police auctions to uncover hidden fortunes.

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‘Bar Rescue’ Host & Production Company Hit With Assault & Battery Lawsuit: Video

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 4:46pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEReality shows are accused all the time of being fake, but an assault and battery complaint filed today against Spike TV’s Bar Rescue might have gotten a bit too real for all concerned. A Vegas doctor is alleging that he was set up by the production company to hit on host Jon Taffer’s wife and then attacked by the bar and nightlife expert for doing so. In the 4-claim jury barrescue__140321175026-275x206trial filing (read it here) today in LA Superior Court, Dr. Paul Wilkes is seeking general, actual and punitive damages as well as medical and legal expenses, pain and suffering and “other and further relief as the Court many deem just and proper” from the February 11, 2013, incident. The doctor is suing Taffer; his wife Nicole, who also is on the show; and Bongo LLC, a limited liability company of producer 3 Ball Productions. Wilkes, who is part owner of the Sin City bar that used to be known as the Sand Dollar, “has suffered and continues to suffer severe emotional distress which results in physical manifestations including but not limited to migraine headaches, nausea, vomiting, night terrors, crying spells, severe depression and anxiety attacks,” says the filing of the on-camera dust-up that saw Taffer punch the doctor in the jaw, among other things. Portions of the incident were seen on the show’s July 7 Season 3 broadcast entitled “Don’t Mess With Taffer’s Wife” (watch a clip from the episode below).

Related: Spike TV Orders Fourth Season Of ‘Bar Rescue’

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Spike TV Renews ‘Ink Master’ For Season 5

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 12:56pm PDT

Spike TV has picked up a fifth season spike_logo__130605171517-275x154__130821185607 (1)of Ink Master. The network has ordered 16 one-hour episodes for a fall debut, it announced today. Ink Master is hosted by Dave Navarro and produced by Original Media. It features tattoo artists from around the country battling it out each week in permanent ink for a $100,000 cash prize and an editorial feature in Inked magazine. Season 4 (through five episodes) has delivered 1.72 million viewers and improved the timeslot in Adults 18-49 by 81% and Adults 18-34 by 115%, according to Spike TV.

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Spike TV Orders Fourth Season Of ‘Bar Rescue’

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

Spike TV has orderedbarrescue 20 more episodes of original series Bar Rescue starring bar and nightlife expert Jon Taffer. Season 4 is set to debut this fall. Bar Rescue, from the producers of Extreme Weight Loss and Opposite Worlds, follows Taffer as he utilizes his nearly three decades of experience in the restaurant, bar and nightclub business to help give failing establishments one last chance to transform themselves into profitable businesses. A new batch of original episodes (part of season three) kicked off on March 9 at 9 PM and have averaged 1.8 million viewers, Spike TV says, improving the timeslot +173% with Adults 18-49 and +131% with total viewers. Bar Rescue is produced by Eyeworks USA and Executive Producers JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, DJ Nurre, Tim Warren and Jon Taffer.

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Viacom Plans International Rollout For Spike Channel

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 10:25am PDT

Sumner Redstone Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of FameCEO Philippe Dauman just disclosed his plan to add Spike to Viacom‘s overseas pay TV offerings, joining a portfolio that includes MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and the Paramount Channel. “We’re doing a little bit of proof of concept,” he said today at the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. Spike TV logoHe’s optimistic because “we have been creating a lot of original programming on Spike itself,” and much of it — especially scripted shows — is “able to travel.” Overseas expansion is “a big, big opportunity” for Viacom and he sees distribution deals in countries including Brazil, Italy, and Russia helping to “fuel long-term growth” for the cable operation. In addition, “we look at India and think of our company a quarter century ago. It’s a great value creation opportunity.” Dauman also is taking a global view for Paramount. Read More »

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Spike TV And Trigger Street Developing Event Series About Steve Wynn/Donald Trump Feud

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

The War at the Shore coverEXCLUSIVE: 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 development at Spike TV from Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti’s Trigger Street Productions. Based on the 2012 book of the same name, the project centers on one of the most intense chapters in the decade-long rivalry, chronicling the five-year multibillion-dollar, trumpwynnbare-knuckled battle between Trump and Wynn over the future of Atlantic City. From 1995-2000, Trump embarked on a all-out legal and propaganda war to prevent Wynn from developing a new resort complex in the New Jersey city. It comes from the perspective of The War At The Shore author Richard D. “Skip” Bronson, who was Wynn’s right-hand man during the fight. The Spike project comes from Trigger Street and Giant Pirates Entertainment.spike_tv Brunetti, whose producing credits include Captain Phillips and House Of Cards, will executive produce with Troy Searer and Ross Jacobson. Spike EVP Original Series Sharon Levy is overseeing the project. The War At The Shore is part of Spike’s strategy of return to scripted programming with limited event series, which the network unveiled last April.

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Rob Reiner To Produce & Direct Series Adaptation Of Novel ‘Basket Case’ For Spike

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

robreinerEXCLUSIVE: 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 cbasketcaseenters 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.” Read More »

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Spike TV Gets First Window On 5 Open Road Films Including ‘Homefront’, ‘Machete Kills’

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 10:18am PDT

Spike TV has grabbed the broadcast TV premieres of Open Road‘s Homefront — which hits theaters next month Machete Kills, End Of Watch, The Grey and Killer Elite. The first to air will be Killer Elite, which premieres November 11 on the cable net. The first-position windows for the remaining films are spread out through 2016.

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Spike TV’s ‘Frankenfood’ Picked Up To Series

By | Wednesday October 2, 2013 @ 11:24am PDT

Spike TV has ordered 10 episodes of Frankenfood, a nonscripted series that follows superstar chef Josh Capon as he travels across the country in search of revolutionary culinary creations. In each episode, local amateur food innovators compete head-to-head in order to get their unexpected food concoctions onto the menu of a popular local restaurant, win a $10,000 cash grand prize and possibly create the next big food craze. The creations will be judged by Capon, cheesesteak impresario Tony Luke Jr. along with a rotating panel of culinary experts. Capon is the seasoned executive chef and partner behind Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub and El Toro Blanco in New York City. The series is produced by Sharp Entertainment with Bob Larson and Matt Sharp serving as executive producers. Frankenfood will premiere in Spring 2014.

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