Getting some action

Spike adds drama pilots 'Amped,' 'Kill'

Viacom’s Spike TV has locked in a pair of drama pilots that put the men’s network in business with TV mavens Frank Spotnitz and Vince Gilligan and feature scribe James DeMonaco.

Cabler is in final negotiations to greenlight production on Spotnitz and Gilligan’s “Amped,” an event series about a mysterious epidemic that hits Los Angeles, and DeMonaco’s “The Kill Pit,” about a bank heist gone awry, chronicled in real time.

Scott Brazil had been attached to the latter project but died Tuesday in Sherman Oaks.

Boutique studio Fox 21 is attached to produce “Amped,” with Spotnitz and Gilligan exec producing. David Hoberman’s Mandeville Films (“Monk”) will produce “The Kill Pit,” with DeMonaco and Hoberman exec producing.

Both dramas were among the first batch of scripted development set up by Spike exec VP of programming Pancho Mansfield (Daily Variety, Nov. 17), who joined the network last summer. “Amped” and “Kill Pit” are representative of the net’s new focus on action-oriented fare with “high-quality storytelling.”

Spike unveiled the shift in positioning last month during its upfront presentations. The new tagline “Get More Action!” was also showcased in addition to an increased commitment to scripted series, tentpole events and multiplatform initiatives.

The first of Spike’s efforts in the drama arena will be vampire series “Blade,” David Goyer’s small-screen adaptation of the feature trilogy. The first of the 13 hours bows in June.

Spotnitz and Gilligan served as exec producers on “The X-Files.” Spotnitz recently created and exec produced “Night Stalker” for ABC.

DeMonaco penned the scripts for feature “The Negotiator” and the “Assault on Precinct 13” remake and exec produced the Showtime drama pilot “Hate.”