Spike deals with RHI for films


Spike TV has struck a deal with RHI Entertainment, a leading producer of telefilms and miniseries, to produce the cable network's first slate of movies.

Under the terms of the multipicture deal, RHI, headed by chairman Robert Halmi Sr. and president and CEO Robert Halmi Jr., will produce 12 movies for Spike TV, to be delivered starting in October. The package includes action-adventure and crime-drama projects, with the first set to debut in winter 2007.

The agreement includes all television rights for the RHI package and also incorporates integrated marketing and product- placement opportunities.

"The Halmis are pros at delivering great storytelling," said Pancho Mansfield, executive vp original programming at Spike TV. "We look forward to working together with them on these movies."

It is understood that the movies' budgets have yet to be determined, though Halmi Jr. indicated that the telefilms will be of high quality.

"We're thrilled to be producing films for Spike and their discriminating action-craving audience," he said. "By combining marquee talent, exotic shooting locations, high production values and powerful story lines, RHI Entertainment consistently delivers large-scale productions with theatrical-release quality."

Halmi Jr. negotiated the deal with Robert Friedman, senior vp programming at Spike TV.

"Action-packed films speak directly to our target demographic and is exactly the type of programming Spike viewers want to see," Friedman said.

The news follows on the heels of an announcement last month that RHI had inked a production deal with Sci Fi Channel for a slate of 10 movies.

RHI, which has produced and distributed more than 4,000 hours of TV programming, provides 40-60 new movies and miniseries a year to networks worldwide.