Spike TV has greenlighted four new reality series: Undercover Stings from Cops creator John Langley, about cops orchestrating sting operations; Big Easy Justice from Al Roker and Jennifer Lopez’s production companies, about a New Orleans bounty hunter; American Digger from the producers of Spike’s hit Auction Hunters, about a relic hunter digging up people’s properties for histotic artifacts; and World’s Worst Tenants from Zoo Prods., about a professional evictor. Additionally, Spike has ordered 20 more episodes of the SallyAnn Salsano-produced Repo Games. Sharon Levy, Spike’s EVP original series, said that the new shows are part of the network’s push to expand its core men 18-34 demo to the older men 34-49 demographic that was launched with such recent series as Auction Hunters, Bar Rescue and Repo Games. In primetime, Spike’s median age is currently 40, up from 38 last year. The median age for the network’s highest-rated unscripted original, Auction Hunters, is 41; for Bar Rescue it’s 42. “We have had success in our quest to broaden out our audience,” she said. “The new series continue that and hone our brand as a destination for dynamic characters that exist in high risk/high reward situations.” The goal is to have 52 weeks of originals on Spike every year, she added. Here are detailed descriptions of the new series, including the sizes of their orders:
There is treasure buried in the backyards of everyday Americans but they just don’t know it… until now. “American Digger” follows former professional wrestler turned modern day relic hunter Ric Savage, as he and his team from American Savage target areas such as battlefields and historic sites in the hopes of striking it rich and capitalizing on unearthing and selling bits of American history. The only thing standing in their way are the homeowners themselves, who Savage must convince to allow them to dig up their property using high-tech ground penetrating equipment and one very large bulldozer. What artifacts they find, they sell for a substantial profit, but not before negotiating a deal to divide the revenue with the property owners. The team from American Savage is comprised of Ric’s wife Rita, a New Jersey native, their 25-year old son Giuseppe who is the “muscle” of the operation and two artifact recovery experts, Rue Schumate and Bob Buttafuso. Spike TV has ordered 13 half-hour episodes of this new show created and produced by Gurney Productions (“Auction Hunters”).
Centered in the fascinating and gritty underworld of post-Katrina New Orleans, “Big Easy Justice” follows legendary bounty hunter, Tat-2, and his Elite Fugitive Recovery Team, as they hunt down some of the city’s most elusive criminals. With the support of local law enforcement, deep knowledge of the streets and an iron fist, Tat-2, a New Orleans native, has a single mission: keep his city safe by keeping the bad guys off the streets. Hardened by years of working such a dangerous job, Tat-2 shows no fear on the job and will utilize any means necessary, within the boundaries of the law, to apprehend his prey. Spike has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of the series, produced by Al Roker Entertainment in association with CRM Entertainment, with Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, and Bodega Pictures. The series will premiere in 2012.
For anyone with a nightmare neighbor, professional evictor and notorious tough guy Todd Howard is their savior. In “World’s Worst Tenants,” Howard confronts the most despicable, dirty, outrageous, dangerous and insane tenants imaginable and forcibly removes them. He and his eviction team consisting of his wife, Randye, and his business partner, Rick, are hired to keep tabs on over 150 residential, commercial and retail units. Howard, who works in tandem with local law enforcement, is a former U.S. Marine who can back up his tough talk, if need be. When Howard and his team knock on the door, they never know what to expect and what kind of story will play out on the other side. If a situation gets violent, Howard is willing and able to take charge and gain control of the situation, even if it means using his legally concealed weapon. Spike has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of “World’s Worst Tenants,” produced by Barry Poznick and John Stevens of Zoo Productions (“Southern Fried Stings”).
From the producers of one of television’s landmark series, “Cops,” comes “Undercover Stings,” where viewers are taken inside the high-stakes world of orchestrated busts and undercover police sting operations, some of the most powerful and effective tools in the law-enforcement arsenal. From the initial planning and set-up, to the dramatic tactical process and the final execution of the takedown, “Undercover Stings” rides along with several of the top police departments in the business as they ply their trade and bust the crooks. Whether it’s drug sales and prostitution, or all the way up the criminal ladder to fraud, corruption, and murder-for-hire – viewers get unprecedented access with the larger-than-life cops from around the country who specialize in high-pressure sting ops. Spike TV has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of “Undercover Stings,” with John Langley and Morgan Langley serving as executive producers.
Spike TV has also announced the pick-up of a new season of 20 additional episodes of its popular original series, “Repo Games.” Premiering this past April, “Repo Games” is averaging 1 million viewers for new episodes and has improved viewership by 79% and 33% with Men 18-34 in the time period versus a year ago. “Repo Games” is executive produced by SallyAnn Salsano and 495 Productions, the team behind the pop culture phenomenon “The Jersey Shore.” The show is hosted by real-life repo men Josh Lewis and Tom DeTone. One part “Cops,” one part “Jeopardy,” the innovative game show makes stops across the country to the homes of unsuspecting debtors armed with five trivia questions. Answer three correct, the car will be paid off on the spot, but if the debtors fail, the car will be taken to the impound lot. The new season will debut in 2012.