If you listened to the Geektown Radio podcast this week (which I’m sure you did ;)), you’ll have heard us mention a new channel that’s due to launch in the UK soon. Spike TV has been running in the US for a while now, but it gets it’s UK debut on the 15th April on Sky (EPG 160), Freeview (channel 31), and Freesat (channel 141), and has got some rather good shows lined up. Here’s the press blurb:
Spike UK will offer a mix of original commissions, smash hit acquired drama and blockbuster films, factual library content and adrenalin-fuelled sports blended with a range of reality series from Spike in the U.S., which is consistently amongst the highest rating basic cable networks. Both Spike in the U.S. and Channel 5 are owned and operated by Viacom International Media Networks.
In terms of those ‘smash hit dramas’ they mention, they really weren’t kidding…
For the first time in the UK, the fantastic BREAKING BAD will be airing in it’s entirety for free on a UK channel. They will also be running the whole of the superb SONS OF ANARCHY and JUSTIFIED. They have also taken over the free-to-air rights to THE WALKING DEAD (the first run rights are staying with Fox.) Ironically, these were all shows which ran on Channel 5’s network, but were dropped by the previous owner…
In terms of new show imports, they’ve picked up OLYMPUS from SyFy US, which is the story of a group of people banished by the Gods to the Underworld, aka the Kingdom of Hades, as they uncover the truth about their pasts.
Other new shows include Lip Sync Battle hosted by LL Cool J, which is a half-hour show where people lip sync battle each other… Police Interceptors Unleashed with Vinnie Jone following a high-speed police interception unit. Tattoo Disasters UK, which kinda does what it says on the tin, and FailArmy’s popular YouTube channel is getting it’s own show. Spike have also signed an exclusive deal with the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) for its tournaments, which will feature in a Saturday ‘Fight Night’, and Bellator MMA.
So, a mixed bag with some amazing old and new imports, British martial arts, and some *meh* reality shows, but given they’re bring Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead to viewer for free, they can fill the rest of the air time with anything they like!