Spike renews ‘Deadliest Warrior’

Reality show gets second season

Spike has picked up frosh hit “Deadliest Warrior” for a second season of 13 episodes, starting next spring.

The network also is contemplating the production of a stand-alone special that would run before the start of season two and feature first-season champions facing off against each other.

Airing at 10 p.m. Tuesdays, “Warrior” averaged 1.8 million viewers in its first season, ranking second in its timeslot in cable among men 18-49 and 18-34 (behind TNT’s coverage of the NBA playoffs) and becoming the highest-rated freshman on Spike since 2005.

“This show really stands on its own and really doesn’t require a lead-in,” Spike senior original programming veep Sharon Levy told Daily Variety.

“Warrior” was also Spike’s top-selling series via download-to-own outlets such as iTunes, Xbox and PlayStation, and show-related online video hits totaled more than 6.2 million during the first season. The series’ online companion, “Deadliest Warrior: The Aftermath” drew 1.8 million video views from April 7-June 21.

Spike is looking to expand “Warrior” to more platforms, including books, videogames and merchandising.

As for the core “Warrior,” which pits historical fighters from different eras and locations against each other, such as “Spartan vs. Ninja” or “William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu,” the second season will feature new battles while ramping up the visual and technical components.

But since none of the first-season combatants have reappeared, a best-of face-off might be a natural.

“We are in talks to potentially do a special that would take the best of season one (for) a tournament of champions,” Levy said.

Gary Tarpinian and Paninee Theeranuntawat exec produce “Warrior” in conjunction with Morningstar Entertainment. Levy and Tim Duffy are Spike’s executives in charge of production.

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