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Spike back in business with Beers

Cabler also working with Leary on hockey series

Spike TV, already working with Thom Beers, has a pilot in the works with the reality producer and is taking the ice with Denis Leary.

Male-skewing cabler continues to ramp up its programming slate — seven series are returning in 2010 — and is high on a project from Beers, who exec produces Spike’s recently renewed “1,000 Ways to Die.”

“We’re an 18-49 network but focused on the 18-34 in order build a base with young guys and get an audience over a length of time,” network president Kevin Kay told Daily Variety . “We haven’t found the 18-34 crowd to be elusive and have a good formula for getting them.”

Beers is on board with hourlong reality series “Weapon X,” about whether certain military battles could’ve been won if the losers had built a high-powered weapon that utilizes today’s technology. Scenarios re-enacted include the Alamo, Tet Offensive and the Civil War’s battle at Gettysburg. Beers’ Original Prods. shingle produces.

In development from Leary — star of FX drama “Rescue Me” and a passionate hockey fan — and Apostle Pictures producing partner Jim Serpico is the scripted “Rebel League,” based on the short-lived 1970s World Hockey Assn.

Skein would focus on the league’s dysfunctional front office and the has-been stars who tried to make a name for themselves as players. Pilot was written by Stephen Engel, and is based on the book “The Rebel League” by Ed Willes. Sony Pictures Television produces.

Other reality pilots include:

  • “Alternative History,” which asks what would happen if world history events were reversed, such as if Germany won World War II and if President Kennedy weren’t assassinated. Flight 33 Prods. produces. Jason Sklaver, Louis Tarantino and Douglas Cohen are exec producers.

  • Docuseries “On the Rocks,” about how to turn failing restaurants into success stories. Skein is from 3-Ball Prods. Todd Nelson, JD Roth and Adam Greener are exec producers.

  • “Phowned!” celebrates the gag phone call. Atlas Media Corp. produces in association with the Elvis Duran Group. Bruce David Klein is exec producer.

  • “Haunted Civilization” goes back to history’s deadliest locations to try and unearth new information. Sean Gallagher and Abby Greensfelder of Half Yard Prods. are exec producers.

Scripted series in development include “Kings by Night,” about a group of guys who open an illegal casino, and Army laffer “Fort Bush,” where two drill sergeants use unorthodox matters to get their recruits in fighting shape.

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