Spike TV Picks Up Six Unscripted Pilots
Series in development include "Pawn Games," "World's Worst Tenants" and "Hungry Men at Work."
Spike TV has picked up six unscripted pilots -- including projects from Ben Silverman, Tom Forman and SallyAnn Salsano -- that mine such familiar reality milieus as law enforcement, food and the pawn industry.
The Sherriff, from Silverman’s Electus and 5X5 Media, is a sheriff-makeover show that follows law-enforcement expert Tony Schiena helping sheriff departments brush up on everything from hand-to-hand combat to evasive driving techniques.
Jersey Shore executive producer Salsano, who has Repo Games on Spike, puts a competitive spin on the pawn genre. Pawn Games, from Salsano’s 495 Productions, gives contestants a chance to win back prized possessions they’ve already pawned.
Hungry Men at Work, from Page Productions, follows a different kind of craft-services cook -- those who feed men doing dangerous jobs including fighting forest fires and working on oil rigs. World’s Worst Tenants, from Zoo Productions, shadows Los Angeles-based evictor Todd Howard.
The Hustler -- from Jay Blumenfield, Tony Marsh and Forman at RelativityREAL -- follows salesman Josh T. Ryan (who appeared in Showtime’s gun-shop set Lock N' Load). Auction in My House, from Zodiak USA, is based on the British series Secret Dealers.
"This is a robust slate for us," says Sharon Levy, executive vp original series at the male-targeted network, who adds that her goal is to find companion shows for existing properties and open up additional nights of originals. “All of these shows fit with the Spike attitude, but they highlight real men doing credible things.”
The network has nine originals on including Coal, Auction Hunters, The Ultimate Fighter and TNA.
Auction Hunters is Spike’s highest-rated nonscripted series, averaging 1.7 million viewers. In its second season, it’s up 31 percent among men 18-49 and 29 percent with men 18-34.
The network’s viewership is 66 percent male in primetime and 61 percent in total day. And though Spike does not specifically target women, Levy wants them to watch with their husbands and boyfriends.
“We like the mix,” she says. “We develop for men, but we’re trying to make shows that don’t alienate women.”