[01/31/06 - 12:00 AM]
Spike TV Green Lights 'Blade' for Series

[via press release from Spike TV]

Spike TV Green Lights 'Blade' for Series

New Line Television to Produce Series Based on Popular Marvel Super Hero; Production Set to Begin This Spring in Vancouver Series to Premiere in June 2006

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 -- Spike TV has given the green-light for a television series based on Marvel Super Hero "Blade" as the network's first original scripted series. The network has ordered 11 one-hour episodes, in addition to the previously announced two-hour kick-off episode, to be produced by New Line Television, set to commence production in Vancouver this spring. "Blade" premieres in June 2006.

"We're extremely pleased with the pilot for 'Blade,' which delivers a thrilling action-adventure for its built-in fan base as well as a character- driven drama filled with heart-pounding tension and suspense," says Pancho Mansfield, Executive Vice President, Original Programming at Spike TV. "The series will be the first of our scripted fare as we embark on creating a greater mix of original programming for our viewers."

"Blade" focuses on Marvel's eponymous immortal warrior fighting a shadowy underworld of vampires who want to destroy the human race. The title character is a half-man, half-vampire who uses his superhuman powers and skills to fearlessly battle the demonic creatures of the night in a blood- drenched crusade to prevent the ascendance of vampires over mankind.

The Spike TV weekly series will maintain continuity from the highly successful movie trilogy but will bring the main character into a new storyline with new characters.

Kirk "Sticky" Jones ("Over There") stars in the leading role of "Blade." Kirk Jones first became widely known as "Sticky Fingaz," the front man for the hip-hop group Onyx. He later appeared and starred in a number of feature films including Clockers, Dead Presidents and Flight of the Phoenix. Most recently, Jones appeared regularly on FX's "Over There" and "The Shield." Rounding out the series cast are Jill Wagner ("Monk"), Neil Jackson ("Stargate SG-1"), Nelson Lee ("Traffic," the TV mini-series) and Jessica Gower ("Blurred").

Acclaimed screenwriter and executive producer David S. Goyer ("Blade" trilogy and "Batman Begins") and popular comic book writer Geoff Johns who worked on the "Blade" tele-movie, have also signed on for the series production. The tele-movie is directed by Peter O'Fallon ("Suicide Kings," "American Gothic").

Bill McGoldrick, Vice President, Original Programming and Lisa Ullmann, Director of Original Programming, are executives responsible for production at Spike TV. Avi Arad, Chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios, Ari Arad, Executive Vice President, Marvel Studios, Jim Rosenthal and Jon Kroll of New Line Television will serve as executive producers.

New Line Television is a division of New Line Cinema (http://www.newline.com), the most successful independent film company in the world. The division develops, produces and distributes TV projects for the broadcast networks, cable and first-run syndication, as well as distributes New Line feature films across the television landscape. In addition to the production, marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures, New Line Cinema has divisions devoted to home entertainment, music, theater, merchandising and international. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line's Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy is one of the most successful film franchises in history. New Line is a division of Time Warner, Inc.

With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused on utilizing its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing and toys. Areas of emphasis include feature films, DVD/home video, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Rooted in the creative success of over sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel's strategy is to leverage its character franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. More information about Marvel can be found at http://www.marvel.com.

Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark. Marvel and Blade are trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used under license.

Web Site: http://www.spiketv.com http://www.marvel.com http://www.newline.com

  [january 2006]  


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