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Spike to Launch in U.K. with ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy’

LONDON — Spike is set to launch in the U.K. on April 15 as a free-to-view channel as Viacom builds on its acquisition of free-to-air network Channel 5.

Spike’s schedule, which will be under the control of Channel 5 program director Ben Frow, will feature several U.S. drama series.

This will include “Breaking Bad,” which will play in its entirety for the first time on British TV. The first two seasons previously aired on FX and Channel 5’s digital channel Five USA, and later seasons appeared on Netflix.

Spike also airs the fifth season of “The Walking Dead,” the first time it will be accessible free-to-air to British viewers; the British TV premiere of mythological show “Olympus”; backwoods drama “Justified”; and crime thriller “Sons of Anarchy.”

The channel also features “Lip Sync Battle,” hosted by LL Cool J, which was created by Jimmy Fallon’s Eight Million Plus Productions, Stephen Merchant, John Krasinski, Matador and Casey Patterson.

Original commissions on Spike include “Police Interceptors Unleashed,” which will be fronted by actor and former soccer player Vinnie Jones. It follows the work of a high-speed police interception unit, and is produced by Raw Cut Productions. Another new series, “Tattoo Disasters U.K.,” will seek out some of the most painful examples of body art. It is produced by Channel 5 Productions. Spike also features social media comedy “Fail Army,” reworked for television.

Spike will also be the U.K. TV home of mixed martial arts. The channel will televise Bellator MMA, the emerging sports franchise featuring many of the world’s best fighters. Spike has also signed an exclusive deal with the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts for its tournaments, which will feature in a Saturday “Fight Night.”

The channel will also offer a range of reality series from Spike in the U.S., including “Catch a Contractor” and “Frankenfood,” as well as repeats of some of Channel 5’s most popular factual output.

Frow said: “Spike is a driven, high-energy channel offering a point of view and program mix I think is different from anything else on British TV right now.”

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