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Spike TV taps talent for scripted specials push

US cable channel Spike TV is developing five projects from producers such as Leslie Greif and Tom Fontana that, if greenlit, would run as large-scale special event series.

The move marks Viacom-owned Spike’s first move into the scripted special event space since 2007 series The Kill Point, and comes as the channel seeks to target a broader audience than its traditional young male demographic.

Oz creator Fontana is behind The Lamp, which is set in the 1970s and looks at what happens when a US military research unit happens upon Aladdin’s Lamp. The Levinson / Fontana Company, with Borgia’s Brant Englestein attached as writer.

Greif (Hatfields & McCoys), Chris Collins (Sons of Anarchy) and rock star Gene Simmons are developing Hit Men, which is also set in the 1970s. It tells the story of how the mafia took control of the music industry and is produced by Thinkfactory Media.

Elsewhere, Academy-winning writer Bobby Moresco is attached to an unnamed four-hour miniseries about Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger. Asylum Entertainment is attached to produce, with Jonathan Koch and Steve Michaels producing.

Another untitled project will look at the story behind the 2012 terrorist attack on US diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, focusing on loss of four American lives and the actions of CIA operatives that saved many others. Craig Piligan and his Pilgrim Studios outfit are attached to produce.

iHuman comes from Locked Up Abroad UK producer Raw TV and will look at how technological innovation is transforming the human condition.

“Our move into scripted special-event series is a major step in the evolution of the brand that now reaches a more balanced audience,” said Sharon Levy, executive VP, original series, Spike TV. “Each project features our development’s mission to thrill, inspire, and entertain the viewer. We also see this as a stepping stone to developing original scripted dramatic series.”

Levy will oversee all five projects for Spike.