The writing had been on the wall for a while, and Spike executives began quietly telling agents over the past couple of weeks that the network is getting out of the scripted business, at least for the time being. One of the network’s 2 scripted executives, Laurence Sullivan, has already departed to join Conan O’Brien’s production company Conaco. The last time Spike announced a scripted development slate was last October. Of the 7 projects on it, one, the Walt Becket-produced and Andy Tenant-directed Thunderballs, went to pilot but hasn’t been picked up to series. Spike also passed on its 2 pilots ordered last year, Back Nine and Playing With Guns. (Playing With Guns was later redeveloped by Comedy Central). Spike’s only remaining scripted executive, Dustin Davis, will continue to oversee existing development, including a script the network bought last month about an NYPD bomb squad, as well as Spike’s sole scripted series, Blue Mountain State. Spike’s recently picked up 4 new series, all in the reality genre, where the channel has had ratings success with such hits as Auction Hunters and Repo Games.
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