[01/29/10 - 06:01 AM]
Spike TV Partners with Thom Beers' Original Productions to Develop Network's First Late Night Series
Plus: Spike TV has also ordered a third season of Original's "1,000 Ways to Die."

[via press release from Spike TV]

Spike TV Partners With Thom Beers' Original Productions to Develop Network's First Late Night Series

Half-Hour Show To Feature Talk, Comedy And "Manformation"

Network Also Orders Third Season Of Original's Hit Series, "1000 Ways To Die"

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 -- With the late-night wars in full swing, it only makes sense that Spike TV, a network for guys, would jump into the ring. Spike TV is partnering with Thom Beers, Philip Segal and Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company ("1000 Ways to Die," "Deadliest Catch," "Ice Road Truckers), to develop a weekly half-hour series that will be a combination of talk and comedy with a focus on "manformation" for the true guys' guy, it was jointly announced today by Sharon Levy, senior vice president, original programming for Spike TV, and Thom Beers, CEO of Original Productions.

Instead of a typical movie star plugging an upcoming project, this Spike TV series will showcase interesting guests from all walks of life who find themselves in extraordinary situations, such as a convenience store clerk who defended himself against would-be criminals, or a former stock broker who quit his job to join the Green Berets in Afghanistan. The show will have two hosts and various correspondents and the network is currently scouring the country to cast the series pilot with the right fresh face and regular guy-image. Additional details will be announced at a later date.

George "Maddox" Ouzounian, author of the #2 NY Times Best-Seller The Alphabet of Manliness and I Am Better Than Your Kids (announced, Simon & Schuster in 2009), and Dax Herrera (a/k/a Dick Masterson), author of Man Points and Men Are Better Than Women (Simon & Schuster) are attached to the project. Ouzounian and Herrera were introduced to Original Productions by Justin Killion, vice president of development for Original Productions.

"This won't be your typical late night series with typical celebrity chit-chat," said Levy. "This show will come with that distinctive and irreverent Spike voice and point-of-view our viewers have come to expect from us. We are looking to provide our young male audience with water cooler chatter for the next day."

"Guys crave to be informed and entertained in an authentic voice," said Beers. "There are lots of options in late night right now, but none directly tailor-made to the hard-to-reach young male audience as our show will be."

Spike TV has also ordered a third season of Original's "1,000 Ways to Die," the second highest-rated original series in the history of the network. Season-to-date, the current second season of "1000 Ways To Die" (airing at 10:00pm ET/PT on Wednesdays) is averaging 1.6 million viewers with a 1.3 rating in Men 18-24.

Digitally, "1000 Ways to Die" ranked as a top 5 original show on Spike.com in December 2009. The show's average weekly online audience has increased 84% year-to-year. Also in December, the series was the most-watched show on Spike TV's Video-on-Demand.

"1000 Ways to Die" showcases some of the most outrageously true stories about those who succumbed to the grim reaper in the most unorthodox of styles. Each case takes viewers through a fast-paced full reenactment, interlaced with dramatic witness testimonials, fun historical tidbits, scientific expert explanations and vibrant CGI effects reminiscent of classic comic books. Playing off the commonly misconceived notion, "that could never happen to me," "1000 Ways to Die" works to dispel that myth in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, highlighting the comedic irony in all the crazy ways people can get themselves killed.

Acclaimed producers Thom Beers and Philip Segal of Original Productions serve as executive producers for "1000 Ways to Die." Tom McMahon serves as co-executive producer. Levy is Spike TV's senior vice president of original series and Tim Duffy is vice president of original programming for Spike TV

Spike TV is available in 98.6 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom ( VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at http://www.spike.com/press.

Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company

Founded by Thom Beers, Original Productions produces authentic non-fiction programming featuring everyday heroes in extraordinary situations. Beers' steadfast focus on top-notch storytelling with engaging personalities in high risk circumstances has produced more than 1,000 hours of original programming since the company's inception. In February 2009, a majority stake in the 12 year-old-company was purchased by FremantleMedia, one of the leading creators and producers of worldwide entertainment brands. www.originalproductions.com/ www.fremantlemedia.com.

  [january 2010]  


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