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Paramount Network is making a bigger mark with its unscripted series Ink Master.
The cabler has picked up the long-running tattoo-artist competition for two more seasons — giving it 13 total — and ordered a spinoff called Ink Master: Grudge Match. It’s the third spinoff in the franchise, following 2015’s Ink Master: Redemption and 2017’s Ink Master: Angels. Paramount has also launched a dedicated Ink Master YouTube channel with clips from past seasons, previews and additional content.
Season 12 of the main show, subtitled Battle of the Sexes, is set to premiere June 11. Grudge Match is scheduled to follow in the fall.
“The popularity of tattoo culture is at an all-time high, so I am thrilled to expand the incredibly successful Ink Master franchise across multiple platforms and touch points for our fans,” said Keith Cox, president development and production for Paramount Network and TV Land. “Each new season of Ink Master brings forth heightened interpersonal drama and the stakes will be raised yet again in season 12’s Battle of the Sexes and the fall premiere of Grudge Match.”
The most recent season ranked in the top 10 among all cable unscripted series with adults 18-49 and finished first among men in that age group.
“With Ink Master, the longer we engage and delve into the tattoo world, the more artistry and complexity we uncover,” said executive producers Glenda Hersh and Steven Weinstock of Truly Original. “Twelve seasons in, the franchise continues to surprise and inspire us — we love getting to deliver that same experience to viewers, and appreciate the great partnership with Paramount Network that allows us to do it.”
The renewal and spinoff for Ink Master comes on the heels of Paramount picking up Bar Rescue and ordering spinoff Marriage Rescue. Along with Lip Sync Battle and a revival of Wife Swap that moved from fellow Viacom channel CMT, the network’s unscripted roster is providing some stability as Paramount’s scripted slate remains in flux.
Season two of breakout Yellowstone debuts in June, but it’s currently the only scripted original set to air on Paramount in 2019. Darren Star’s Emily in Paris is slated for 2020, and Paramount just picked up MASH-esque dramedy 68 Whiskey and detective drama Heaven of Hell (which will have a first run on Charter Communications’ Spectrum platform). It’s also developing a drama called Coyote from exec producers Michelle MacLaren and Michael Chiklis, who will also star.
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