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Spike is doubling down on breakout Lip Sync Battle.
The network is partnering with cable sibling Nickelodeon to develop spinoff Lip Sync Battle Jr., which will feature a collection of lip syncing kids. The latter will air as a special later this year on both Viacom networks; and other nets in the Viacom portfolio are also said to be developing special editions of Lip Sync Battle events as well.
The news comes as Lip Sync Battle, now in its second season, has garnered record ratings for Spike (4 million-plus viewers) and more than half a billion views online thanks to a parade of high-profile participants from Channing Tatum to Beyonce. Looking for companions on its schedule, Spike recently ordered Caraoke Showdown, in which host Craig Robinson will pick up unsuspecting contestants to engage in a karaoke-inspired game show.
“On the long list of wonderful surprises about Lip Sync Battle is our family co-viewing,” noted executive producers Casey Patterson and Jay Peterson in a joint statement. “Lip Sync Battle’s multigenerational appeal is our favorite part of the show and the whole Lip Sync Battle family is very excited about developing a new music based, comedy variety format to showcase how much our Lip Sync Battle kids rock! It’s all the fun of Lip Sync Battle, only smaller.”
The popular franchise was born out of a popular segment on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and counts Fallon as well as Stephen Merchant and John Krasinski as producers. After NBC passed on the original idea, the series found its way to Spike, which was looking to rebrand itself as a more female-friendly network. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Spike’s Executive VP original programming Sharon Levy noted how Lip Sync — a rare bright spot in the otherwise grim unscripted landscape — skews 60 percent female.
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