It’s Showtime for Spike as pilot takes off

Cabler has ordered 4 scripts of Tse-created project

Spike Lee has signed on to direct the Showtime telepic/backdoor pilot “The Game.”

Project, from Lee and Sam Kitt’s 40 Acres & a Mule company, takes a multiethnic look at the world of San Francisco street gangs. Alex Tse created and wrote the two-hour pilot, which goes into production immediately as “A Spike Lee Joint.”

Showtime has ordered four more scripts of “The Game,” which focuses on the tension among white, black, Latino and Asian gangs. Lee and Kitt will exec produce, while Tse will co-exec produce. All three are repped by William Morris.

“The Game” is one of six pilots greenlit by Showtime last December that may go to series later this year (Daily Variety, Dec. 18).

Lee, whose recent bigscreen features include “25th Hour,” “The Original Kings of Comedy” and “Summer of Sam,” has started dabbling more in television.

That includes a longstanding relationship with Showtime, where he recently exec produced telepic “Good Fences.” He also hosted the cabler’s special “Reflections From Ground Zero” and directed the short “We Wuz Robbed,” part of Showtime’s “Ten Minutes Older” series.

Elsewhere, Lee helmed the Starz! biopic “A Huey P. Newton Story” and directed the HBO special “John Leguizamo’s Freak.”

Showtime declined comment.

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