Spike Looks Beyond Young Male Auds

'Tattoo Nightmares,' 'Ink Master' and 'Bar Rescue' drew women toward the cabler

It isn’t just the 18- to 34-year-old crowd of dudes that’s tuning into Spike TV these days.

Fresh off the success of “Ink Master,” “Bar Rescue” and “Tattoo Nightmares,” the male-centric cabler is rolling out an unscripted development slate that aims to broaden its audience beyond young, edgy men by bringing in femme eyes to the net as well.

“We’re looking to create a more gender-balanced audience while still keeping our 18-34 guys who have been with us since the beginning,” Sharon Levy, exec veep of original series at Spike told Variety, noting that the aforementioned trio of reality hits drew a broader 18-49 audience, and that the “shows now in development are a testament to this initiative.”

Going broader is an imperative for Spike, however, as other cable networks compete for young male viewers. Discovery Channel and AMC routinely draw notable male auds with shows like “Deadliest Catch” and “The Walking Dead,” and Esquire Network — the latest, modern iteration of a men’s cable net — is set to launch this summer.

“It’s all about breaking through in a tremendously competitive market,” Levy said. “You’ve got to have the best talent on your shows. That’s why we pursue guys like Adam Carolla and Graham Elliot, guys who have followings on other platforms.”

She continued: “If you look at all the channels, you’ll see that a lot of them cater to men. The way to compete is you have to look at it as a bigger business … even include Netflix and Hulu as competitors. It’s global entertainment. Us broadening our audience puts us on a different competitive radar.”

But still, Levy emphasized, “You have to have the best shows.”

Spike’s unscripted development slate includes:

  • “To Catch a Contractor,” featuring Adam Carolla. Carolla serves as a watchdog to homeowners or businesses who have been cheated by a contractor and left with an unfinished disaster. Eyeworks USA created the pilot.
  • “Covert Kitchens” from Shine America and featuring Graham Elliot. Project gives viewers an exclusive invitation into the underground restaurant world where one-night-only culinary events reign supreme in alleyways, train cars and even tattoo parlors.
  • “Biz Brokers” from the T Group. Show centers on an aspiring small-business owner who is presented with three companies that are up for sale. With the help of a seasoned biz broker, the aspiring owner decides which company to purchase.
  • “Frankenfood,” which follows chef Eric Greenspan as he travels America in search of incredible and unique food creations. Sharp Entertainment brought the presentation to Spike.
  • “Auto Body Avengers” from Matador. Project features a group of operatives who go undercover to spotlight auto-body garages suspected of fraud.
  • “Property Monstrosity,” where a group of concerned neighbors join forces to confront a fellow neighbor about their eyesore of a property on the block. The neighbor is offered an opportunity to renovate and fix the home. Pilot is produced by Thinkfactory Media.
  • “Reposa Justice,” from Left/Right and Watson Pond Prods. Project centers on criminal defense attorney Adam Reposa as he takes on shady salesmen, nasty neighbors, lousy landlords and others.
  • “Take This Job and Love It” follows a group of job applicants as they compete for a full-time position while hidden cameras capture their reactions to extreme on-the-job tests. Pilot is produced by Scott Stone, Ross McCall and Stone & Co.
  • “We’re The Boss,” from The Co., is a workplace reality series where average American employees get to be in charge for one week.
  • “Hard Money,” from Matador. Pilot centers on the fast-paced, high-stakes world of hard money lending.

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