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‘Fighter’ gives Spike record ratings hike

'Ultimate' second most-watched telecast for cabler

Spike scored a ratings KO Saturday night with the finale of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

The live 2½-hour event at 9 p.m. drew a series-high 2.6 million overall viewers to become the second most-watched original telecast in Spike history. Only the finale of “The Joe Schmo Show” did better (3.4 million).

Finale posted triple-digit gains among men 18-34 (up 562%) and men 18-49 (up 477%) vs. the timeslot average from a year ago.

“These record-breaking numbers illustrate that UFC and the sport of mixed martial-arts fighting is on the rise,” Spike prexy Doug Herzog said.

Elsewhere, cabler added John Griffin to the exec deck as vice president of programming — one of several department appointments announced Tuesday by senior programming VP Robert Friedman.

Griffin previously spent 12 years at A&E, last serving as director of scheduling, acquisitions and program information.

“John was instrumental in the recent resurgence of A&E, and he brings with him a different perspective, a wealth of programming experience and a well-respected reputation among program suppliers,” Friedman said.

Friedman also named Nancy Leidersdorff director of media planning and upped Erin McQuade to senior director of programming. Leidersdorff comes from Food Network, where she was director of on-air planning and strategy. McQuade has worked in Spike’s scheduling department since 2001 and before that was at Outdoor Life Network.