'American Digger,' 'Auction Hunters' among unscripted series

Spike TV has picked up four new tough-guy-centric unscripted series, including “American Digger,” a 13-episode order from “Auction Hunters” shingle Gurney Productions. Show follows former pro wrestler Ric Savage as he excavates homeowners’ backyards in order to find saleable treasures.

The new pickups have some few larger-than-life leads:

Also on the list is “Big Easy Justice,” a New Orleans-set bounty-hunter show starring a professional fugitive recoverer named Tat-2 and his crew. Series is produced by Al Roker Entertainment alongin association with CRM, Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, and Bodega Pictures.

Net also has a pro evictor named Todd Howard on its slate in “World’s Worst Tenants,” which comes from Zoo Prods. “Cops” producers John and Morgan Langley will bring “Undercover Stings” to Spike.

Orders for “Stings,” “Tenants,” and “Justice” are 10 episodes each; Spike has all four series set for 2012 airdates.

“Our goal was to stay in nonscripted originals for 52 weeks a year, and in order to do that, we really had to get going,” said Spike’s head of original series, Sharon Levy.

Other nets heavy on reality content have been inking overall deals with their regular production companies. Quizzed on the trend, Levy said, “We’ve talked about it.” But for the moment Spike is in strategy mode.

“We’re formulating our attack plan for next year,” Levy said. “One of the things that I love is a diverse development slate, but I also believe in reawarding success.”

Net has also renewed “Repo Games” for a second season and boosted the order to 20 episodes.

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