LONDON — U.K. free-to-air TV network Channel 5, which was bought by Viacom in September, has greenlit a British version of Spike’s U.S. entertainment format “Lip Sync Battle.” The show will air in primetime.
The series has been commissioned by director of programs, Ben Frow, and will be produced for Channel 5 by Whizz Kid Entertainment. Steve Regan, VP, commissioning and production, MTV UK, will executive produce on behalf of Channel 5, reporting to Frow, with Whizz Kid’s chief executive, Malcolm Gerrie, and Katherine Allen acting as co-executive producers.
Presenting and performing talent will be announced in due course, with the series expected to premiere in the U.K. early next year.
Based on the pop-culture phenomenon of lip sync battling, the Spike original series features celebrities going head-to-head — lip-syncing the song of their choice. The original U.S. series is hosted by LL Cool J, and has featured an array of A-list musical combatants. The series is the most-watched original series in the network’s history, averaging nearly 3 million viewers, and has been re-commissioned for 20 more episodes in 2016.
“Lip Sync Battle” is executive produced for Spike in the U.S. by Casey Patterson of Casey Patterson Entertainment, Jay Peterson of Matador Content, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant and Eight Million Plus Productions.
The commission further strengthens Channel 5’s links with Spike U.S. The two Viacom-owned channels have collaborated on the launch of Spike UK, which debuted in April as the latest addition to Channel 5’s portfolio of channels and features a mix of Channel 5 factual output and Spike’s entertainment content, including the original U.S. version of “Lip Sync Battle.” Channel 5 has also acquired U.K. rights to Spike’s epic miniseries, “Tut,” which premiered in the U.K. on Aug. 1.
The format for Lip Sync Battle is being distributed internationally by the international program sales division of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), which owns both Channel 5 and MTV UK.
Frow commented: “There is a great buzz around ‘Lip Sync Battle’ — it’s one of the most talked-about and fought-over formats in the world of TV right now. We’re excited that our developing relationship with Spike in the U.S. has made a U.K. version of the show possible and look forward to bringing entertainment back to the heart of Channel 5 primetime.”