The eighth edition of Spike’s tattoo competition series doesn’t debut until August, but the cable net already has inked a deal for Season 9. The 2017 iteration Ink Master will consist of 15 episodes with a live finale, Spike said today.

Spike Logo 2015“The Ink Master franchise has been a major driver in Spike’s successful shift to general entertainment,” said Sharon Levy, EVP Original Series at Spike. “The continued ratings growth is a result of the creativity and ingenuity of our partners at Original Media and our phenomenal hosting/judging trio of Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck and Chris Nunez.”

The series puts artists through a series of tattoo challenges that test their technical skills and on-the-spot creativity as they work on a “human canvas.” Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing, and the contestants face the judges after every challenge.

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The judges on inkmaster play favorites. They often eliminate a better quality tattoo over a favorite. They...

Ink Master‘s current seventh season is averaging 1.8 million viewers in its Tuesday time slot. The series is produced for by Endemol Shine North America’s Original Media with Glenda Hersh, Steven Weinstock and Andrea Richter serving as executive producers.