Spike TV has released a new slate of scripted original pilots aimed at expanding and broadening the network’s male audience.
The crop of new shows includes six comedies, many of which revolve around the crazy antics of dysfunctional co-workers and families and a one-hour drama focusing on domestic terrorism.
The projects announced Friday (Oct. 29) by Spike are stated to be from some of the most creative minds in Hollywood including Beth McCarthy Miller, Thom Beers, and Walt Becker.
Meanwhile, Spike TV and reality show producer, Thom Beers, are going to take viewers down into the depths of the Earth for a look at one of the world’s most dangerous and compelling jobs, coal mining.
Spike TV will premiere the 10 episode, one-hour series ‘Coal’ in April 2011. It will be executive produced by Beers’ Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company. (Read: Spike TV Series on the Lives of Coal Miners)
Already reaching Men 18-34 with shows as “Deadliest Warrior,” “Blue Mountain State,” “The Ultimate Fighter” and “1000 Ways To Die,” the network views these shows as a way to reach older guys with themes relevant to their lives.
“We have spent the last few years successfully bringing in Men 18-34 with a mix of action, outrageous comedy and fun infotainment.” said Kevin Kay, president, Spike TV.
“Now we’re focused on bringing 25-49 year-olds with scripted fare that they can relate to – especially workplace and family humor.”
Spike’s new slate of scripted pilots includes: (all are working titles):
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,” “The Return of Jezebel James”) and executive produced by Walt Becker (“Wild Hogs,” “Van Wilder”).
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 Steven Brill (“Mr. Deeds,” “Little Nicky,” “The Mighty Ducks.”)
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 Principato, Paul Young and Joel Zadak serving as executive producers.
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,” MTV’s “Death Valley”).
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”).
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.
Spike TV’s first scripted comedy, “Blue Mountain State,” returned for a second season last week. The premiere drew a 1.34 rating in Men 18-34, up 34% compared to the first season average and was ranked #2 in its timeslot, says Spike.
“Blue Mountain State” is produced by Varsity Pictures’ Brian Robbins (“Varsity Blues,” “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”) and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett and Lionsgate. Romanski, who also stars as Sammy, and Eric Falconer (“The Sarah Silverman Program,” “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”) also serve as executive producers and writers.
Overseeing the scripted projects are Laurence Sullivan director, original programming, Spike TV and Dustin Davis, manager, original programming, Spike TV.
According to Spike TV, it is available in 98.6 million homes and it is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom, MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across multiple media platforms.
Photo courtesy: Spike