×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Spike nails laffer block

Cabler expands male-centric lineup

Spike TV is firming up its comedy brand.

Viacom-owned men’s network has slated its first comedy block, greenlighting the six-part docusoap “Raising the Roofs” and acquiring “The Dudesons,” a “Jackass”-style stunt show set in the Arctic Circle. Shows bow as a one-hour block July 6 at 10 p.m.

On the flip side, Spike has also greenlit four docu-style projects, including the one-hour special “Sports Fan,” about hardcore Minnesota Vikings fans, from Jon Stewart’s Busboy Prods., and “Journeys With George,” from filmmaker Aaron Lubarsky.

From The Jay & Tony Show, “Roofs” follows Hollywood-based working actor Michael Roof Jr., whose back-country family is in town — with pet pig Babe — for an open-ended visit. Project emerges from the initial development slate put together by Spike alternative topper Sharon Levy last winter (Daily Variety, Dec. 6). Jay Blumenfeld and Anthony Marsh (Showtime’s “Family Business”) exec produce.

In “The Dudesons,” a group of best friends dare each other to perform crazy and dangerous stunts. Spike has ordered eight episodes of the stunt comedy (with options to produce original episodes in the future), which has been going strong for four years on Finnish TV. Rabbit Films exec produces.

Spike recently unveiled a bolder branding proposition complete with the new tagline “Get More Action!” and upcoming vampire series “Blade.” Levy said comedy belongs in that mix because “it’s hugely important to guys, and for us not to do any would be a mistake. For men, ‘action’ means everything from car chases, to the ladies, to bowling over in laughter.”

Exec knows a thing or two about comedy: Spike recruited her last summer (Daily Variety, June 23) from Stone Stanley Entertainment, the shop behind the cabler’s first breakout hit, the reality satire “The Joe Schmo Show.”

But with the addition of a comedy block, Spike enters the same biz of Viacom sib Comedy Central, which also chases a young male demo. Levy said the laughs on Spike will be distinct.

“Both of our shows are about guys unapologetically being guys,” she said. “Michael’s family in ‘Raising the Roofs’ is predominantly male, and they don’t care what anyone thinks about them. The guys in ‘Dudesons’ are childhood friends. They spend all day doing insane stunts — as you can imagine, there’s not a whole lot else to do in the Arctic Circle.”

As for the other three documentary projects, Spike is producing four-part mini “Beyond the Badge,” chronicling the lives of Boston police officers; “Metal of Honor,” a feature-length doc about the ironworkers of 9/11 who assisted in the rescue and recovery efforts, from Rachel Maguire; and “CYA,” a one-hour spec on the California Youth Authority juvenile rehabilitation facility, from Snoop Dogg and documentarian Jonathan Stack (“The Farm”).

Other reality projects still in development include “Bullrun,” an unfiltered look at the popular racecar rally of the same name, and a “boys night out” show, which Levy says she is still discussing with potential producers.

More TV

  • David Schwimmer Starring in New Sky

    David Schwimmer Starring in New Sky Comedy Series ‘Intelligence’

    David Schwimmer will play a power-hungry NSA agent relocated to the U.K. in “Intelligence,” a new six-part comedy series for Sky in the U.K. Schwimmer is best known to U.K. audiences for his role in “Friends,” but was recently in the news after British police posted a video of a suspect thief who bore a [...]

  • Fiona Campbell Named Controller of BBC

    BBC Names Fiona Campbell as New Head of Online Channel BBC Three

    The BBC has named Fiona Campbell the new boss of its youth-skewing online channel, BBC Three, replacing outgoing controller Damian Kavanagh, who is leaving in the new year to run Endemol Shine-owned producer Tiger Aspect. Campbell has been heading up the documentary unit at BBC Studios, the U.K. pubcaster’s production division. She also worked at BBC Three [...]

  • Rüdiger Böss, ProSiebenSat.1's Longtime Hollywood Buyer,

    Rüdiger Böss, ProSiebenSat.1's Longtime Buyer in Hollywood, to Leave the Company

    Rüdiger Böss, who as head buyer for ProSiebenSat.1 negotiated the German broadcast giant’s deals with U.S. studios for many years, is leaving after more than a quarter of a century at the company. Böss is a well-known figure in the international TV business and a familiar face at major events and markets. ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Conrad [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Romantic Comedy

    Rebel Wilson to Star in Australian Drama Series 'Les Norton'

    Rebel Wilson and David Wenham will star in Australian drama series “Les Norton.” Adapted from the novels of Robert G. Barrett, the show is presented by The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia. Set in 1985, the series will follow the exploits of a country bloke from outback Queensland, played by rising star Alexander Bertrand [...]

  • Korea's CJ ENM Acquires Scandinavian Sales

    South Korea's CJ ENM Acquires Scandinavian Sales Company Eccho Rights

    South Korean entertainment powerhouse CJ ENM has acquired a majority stake in Stockholm-based rights-management and sales company Eccho Rights. A leading entertainment and merchandising company in Asia, CJ ENM will give Eccho Rights the resources to expand its global footprint across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Eccho Rights has offices in Stockholm, Istanbul, [...]

  • Liz Heldens

    'The Passage' Writer Liz Heldens Inks New Overall Deal at 20th Century Fox TV

    Liz Heldens has signed a new multi-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television effective immediately. News of the deal comes ahead of the midseason launch of the Fox series “The Passage,” based on the book trilogy by Justin Cronin on which Heldens is the writer and executive producer. The series focuses on Project NOAH, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content