Spike TV presents an ambitious new slate of non-scripted and scripted original pilots and projects in development, targeting the network’s guy-centric audience. The non-scripted shows have a distinctive infotainment-theme while much of the scripted fare focuses on sports-related comedies, a genre scarcely seen on television today.
The new crop of projects comes from many of the industry’s leading producers in developing successful series including Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”), Brian Robbins (“Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”), Thom Beers (“Deadliest Catch,” “Ice Road Truckers”), Flight 33 Productions (“Life After People”) and 3-Ball Productions (“The Biggest Loser”).
“Our new slate of non-scripted pilots speaks to our audience’s thirst for knowledge in topics relevant to them, provided in an exciting way,” said Sharon Levy, senior vice president, original series, Spike TV.
The list of non-scripted pilots includes (*please note all are working titles):
Thom Beers, producer of Emmy Award-winning “Deadliest Catch,” sets out to rewrite history in a new hour-long series that takes a team of experts led by Richard “Mack” Machowitz, (10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs and host and producer of “Future Weapons”) and asks one question: Could some of the most brutal military battles of all time have had different outcomes if the losers had built a “Weapon X?” Each week, Mack and his team will use modern day ingenuity and inventiveness combined with the technology of the time to create game-changing weapons in history’s most famous battles. Featuring one battle a week, the team will look at the ins and outs of each conflict from a historical and scientific perspective and then set their sights on building a game-changing weapon. Viewers will follow the fabrication and ultimately the testing of one of the craziest and no-doubt deadliest weapons the world has ever seen. Battles include the Alamo, the Tet Offensive, Gettysburg, Okinawa and more. Beers of Original Productions is executive producer along with Philip Segal.
“On The Rocks”
For every new bar/restaurant that succeeds, there are many that never make it past their first year. That’s where John Taffer comes in. In this new documentary series, Taffer, America’s leading restaurant and bar consultant and two-time Bar Operator of the Year Award-winner, will give failing establishments one last chance to succeed. Pairing his “in-your-face” style with his patented method of management called “Taffer Dynamics,” which employs everything from undercover work to state of the art science such as eye tracking technology, monitoring of body temperature and even reading pheromone output in patrons, Taffer will focus on one establishment per week. Attacking every facet of the business including employees, menus, the physical building, music, food and drink, and even the crowd composition, he will turn failure into success-or die trying. The show is produced by 3-Ball Productions (“The Biggest Loser,” “OCD,” “Dad Camp”). Todd Nelson, JD Roth and Adam Greener are executive producers.
What if Hitler and the Nazis won World War II? What if JFK had never been assassinated? What if the South won the Civil War? What would these alternate worlds be like? “Alternative History” looks at “what if” scenarios from some of history’s most pivotal turning points and presents a completely different version based on science and fact. The series will use state of the art animation to present these alternative histories in a hyper-stylized manner. Each episode will culminate in an exploration of how the world today would look if these changes had occurred. “Alternative History” is produced by Flight 33 Productions (Emmy-nominated “Life After People,” “The Universe,” “Battle 360, and Emmy award-winning “A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day”). Jason Sklaver, Louis Tarantino and Douglas Cohen serve as executive producers.
Playing on human foibles and raw emotion, “Phowned!” celebrates the art of the perfect gag phone call. The show features phone calls to sons, daughters, parents, and friends and showcases how easily people’s buttons are pushed to the limit with fresh and unique story lines. The team of “Phowned!” callers is made up of America’s most experienced gag phone call generators from the “Elvis Duran Morning Show,” heard on New York’s top rated Z-100, and syndicated nationally. “Phowned!” is produced by Atlas Media Corp (“Breaking Vegas” “Dr G: Medical Examiner” “It Could Happen Tomorrow”) in association with the Elvis Duran Group, with Bruce David Klein serving as executive producer.
Combining a fresh look at history with paranormal investigation, “Haunted Civilization” will explore history’s deadliest locations in an attempt unearth information never before discovered. Sean Gallagher and Abby Greensfelder of Half Yard Productions “The Real Housewives of DC,” “American Loggers”) serve as executive producers.
The network’s new scripted projects, helmed by Laurence Sullivan, director, original programming, include the following:
*all in development
A comedic look at the launch of a contemporary pro hockey league designed to rival the NHL that gives the fans what they think they want more scoring, more fighting and more attitude. The series focuses on the new league’s dysfunctional front office, its reluctant star and collection of has-been and never-was players. “Rebel League” celebrates the good, the bad, the ugly and the unbelievable moments on and off the ice in the life of this upstart organization. Written by Stephen Engel (“The Big Bang Theory,” “The War At Home”), produced by Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle Pictures (“Rescue Me,” “The Job”) and Sony Pictures Television and based on the book, The Rebel League by Ed Willes.
“Kings By Night”
What happens when the cool guys who ruled college graduate to minimum-wage desk jobs, have bosses who don’t respect them, and all the pretty girls ignore them? They open an illegal underground casino, of course. Three friends, faced with mounting bills and soul-sucking day jobs, attempt to live out the ultimate guy fantasy: make money, date hot women, and relive the glory days. The show is written by Richie Keen (“Important Things With Demetri Martin,” “Living with Abandon”) and Ben & Dan Newmark and produced by Fremantle.
Two misfit U.S. Army drill sergeants try to maintain their hard-partying lifestyle despite the arrival of an uptight new captain with a grudge. They must utilize unorthodox methods to turn an endless stream of motley recruits into the greatest fighting force on earth. The show is written by Gabe Snyder and Mike Alber (“Jailbait”).
The network has previously announced two original scripted comedy pilots “Back Nine” and “Playing With Guns.”
“Back Nine” stars John Schneider as Ronnie Barnes, a hard-drinking, washed-up former U.S. Open golf champion who is trying to make it back onto the Tour with help from his sex-addicted caddy, aptly named Tiger. Carmen Electra also stars in the project written by Jason Filardi and Mark Perez.
“Playing With Guns”
“Playing With Guns” teams Danny Masterson and Joey Kern as childhood friends who have grown up to become small town cops, trying to get the most out of their badges while doing the least amount of police work possible. The project is produced by Varsity Pictures’ Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett and Lionsgate.