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Spike UK inks Tattoo format, Breaking Bad deals

Breaking-Bad-S2-Photo-2Viacom’s Spike UK channel will launch with a locally commissioned tattoos-gone-wrong series and has acquired hit US drama Breaking Bad (pictured).

The channel launches this spring, replacing Viacom International Media Network’s music channel Viva on the UK free-to-air DTT platform, Freeview.

It will be programmed with US fare as well as off-net Channel 5 series and acquired and commissioned content.

Tattoo UK (WT) will be the first original. It will be made by 5Production, the programme-making arm of Channel 5, which is the free-to-air network Viacom acquired last year.

“Spike UK will be a mix of great originals [from the US] and great off-net product, principally from Channel 5 in the UK,” Viacom International Media Networks CEO and president Bob Bakish told TBI. “We’ll supplement that with local commissions and some of that production will be done in-house by 5Production, which gives is high-quality content at an attractive price.”

The VIMN boss added: “We’ll take advantage of that and add local commissions – internationally we’ve done a lot of work around formats and will do that with Spike.”

The tattoo series will look at ‘tattoo tragedy and problem piercings’. Each instalment will feature three or four different skin-art-gone-wrong tales, with reconstructions of the events surrounding the problem tattoo.

On Spike in the US there is Tattoo Nightmares, which made by FremantleMedia-backed 495 Productions for Spike. The new UK show is separate from the US tattoo series and not a format.

On the scripted front, VIMN has acquired all episodes of hit US drama series Breaking Bad for Spike UK.

The series was, after a slow start, a huge hit for AMC in the US. It is on Netflix in the UK and other territories. Spike UK will have all five seasons of the drug dealing drama having acquired it from Sony Pictures Television.