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Spike (TV channel) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Spike. Spike Launched March 7, 1983 (as TNN) August 11, 2003 (as Spike) Owned by Network Enterprises, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of MTV Networks, wholly owned by Viacom) Picture format 480i (SDTV) 1080i (HDTV) Headquarters New York City, United States Formerly called The Nashville Network, TNN, The National Network, The New TNN, Spike TV Website Official Site Availability Satellite DirecTV Channel 241 Dish Network Channel 168 Bell TV (Canada) Channel 628 Star Choice (Canada) Channel 584 G-18 N/Central America/Caribbean 4040 V / 29270 / 3/4 Channel 170 (Transponder 17) AMC 11 N/Central America/Caribbean 4060 H / 29270 / 3/4 Channel 530/930 (Transponder 18) Cable Available on most cable systems Check Local Listings for channels Spike (formerly called Spike TV), a division of MTV Networks, is an American cable network designed for an audience described demographically as "young adult males." The network began life as The Nashville Network (TNN), founded by WSM, Inc. (a subsidiary of National Life and Accident Insurance Company) in a joint venture with Group W Satellite Communications on March 7, 1983 and acquired a few months later by Gaylord Entertainment Company. As of 2006, Spike's viewership is almost half women (45%). The average age of the network's viewers is 42 years old. Spike is available in 96.1 million American homes.  Today, after several changes of ownership and name, Spike operates as part of MTV Networks, owned by Viacom. In October 2007, Kevin Kay was appointed president, after being executive vice president and general manager of the network for the previous two years. The post had been vacant since December 2006. Contents [hide] 1 Precursors to Spike 1.1 The Nashville Network: The Beginning (1983) 1.2 The Nashville Network: The Gaylord Entertainment Era (Mid 1983-1995) 1.3 The Nashville Network: The Westinghouse-CBS Era (1995-2000) 1.4 The National Network and The New TNN (2000-2003) 2 Spike TV 2.1 Spike Lee lawsuit 2.2 Spike programming 2.2.1 Fresh Baked Video Games 2.2.2 Star Trek 2.2.3 "Get More Action" 3 References 4 External links  Precursors to Spike  The Nashville Network: The Beginning (1983) The Nashville Network (TNN) was launched on March 7, 1983 from the now-defunct Opryland USA theme park near Nashville, Tennessee. Country Music Television, founded by Glenn D. Daniels, beat TNN's launch by two days, robbing them of the claim of "first country music cable television network." TNN was originally owned by WSM, Inc., a subsidiary of National Life and Accident Insurance Company and initially focused on country music-related original programming. TNN's flagship shows included Nashville Now and Grand Ole Opry Live, both of which were broadcast live from Opryland USA. During TNN's first year of broadcasting, American General Corp., parent company of National Life and Casualty decided to divest itself of some of its non-core companies and put the fledgling network up for sale.  The Nashville Network: The Gaylord Entertainment Era (Mid 1983-1995) Texas based Gaylord Entainment purchased The Nashville Network and the Opryland properties in the latter half of 1983. Much of TNN's programming during the Gaylord era was originally produced by Opryland Productions, also owned by Gaylord Entertainment. Programming included variety shows, talk shows, game shows, outdoors shows, and lifestyle shows, all centered in some way around country music. Some of TNN's popular on-air talent included local Nashville media personalities Ralph Emery, Dan Miller, Charlie Chase, and Lorianne Crook, as well as established stars such as country music singer Bill Anderson and actresses Florence Henderson and Dinah Shore. TNN even created stars, such as wily fisherman Bill Dance. TNN had two self-operating and self-promoting sub-divisions, TNN Outdoors and TNN Motor Sports. TNN Outdoors was responsible for the programming of hunting and fishing shows, while TNN Motor Sports was responsible for production of all of the network's auto racing coverage. Regarding the latter, NASCAR series races (including those of the then-Winston Cup Series and Busch Grand National Series, as well as the Craftsman Truck Series) were the most prominently featured, but races of smaller circuits such as the International Motor Sports Association IMSA Sports Car Series, ASA, USAC, the NHRA, and ARCA were also showcased, as was motorcycle and speedboat racing. TNN Outdoors and TNN Motor Sports also marketed themselves, selling a variety of merchandise and branding themselves onto video games such as TNN Bass Tournament of Champions and TNN Outdoors Bass Tournament '96. In 1995, the motorsports operations were moved into the industrial park located at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, where TNN had purchased controlling interest in World Sports Enterprises, a motorsports production company. Notable TNN racing personalities included Mike Joy, Steve Evans, Eli Gold, Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnett, Randy Pemberton, Ralph Sheheen, Dick Berggren, and Rick Benjamin.  The Nashville Network: The Westinghouse-CBS Era (1995-2000) Westinghouse Electric Corporation, who at the time owned the CBS networks and had an existing relationship with TNN through its Group W division, purchased TNN and its sister network CMT outright in 1995 to form CBS Cable (along with a short-lived startup network entitled "Eye On People"). The original TNN logo, used from March 7, 1983 to 1997.Most of the original entertainment-oriented programming ceased production during this period, and the network began to rely more on TNN Outdoors and TNN Motor Sports for programming. The network's ties to CBS allowed it to pick up country-themed CBS dramas from the 1980s such as The Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas, and also allowed it to carry CBS Sports run over, which happened during a NASCAR Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway and also a PGA Tour event at Firestone Country Club. During this time, Ralph Emery began a short-lived retirement from broadcasting, and left Nashville Now in the process. Upon Emery's exit, the show was overhauled and renamed Music City Tonight (hosted by Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase). After a very short run, Crook and Chase left the show to launch a syndicated daytime show, Crook & Chase, which would eventually return to TNN after two years in the syndication market. Music City Tonight was again overhauled to resemble its original Nashville Now format, but was rebranded as Prime Time Country. This version was originally hosted by actor Tom Wopat. He was later replaced with Christian singer/songwriter Gary Chapman, who enjoyed relative success with the show until its cancellation in 1999 as part of the MTV overhaul of the network. In 1998, the network dropped its "The Nashville Network" moniker and shortened its official name to the simpler TNN. Ownership shifted to Viacom in the late 1990s after its acquisition of CBS Corporation, Westinghouse's successor. TNN subsequently moved out of its original Nashville base to New York City and folded into Viacom's MTV Networks division. Sister network CMT, however, remained in Nashville. In 1999, TNN began its relationship with professional wrestling, signing a three year deal with Extreme Championship Wrestling. ECW on TNN was the highest rated show on TNN through 2000, despite limited advertising.  The National Network and The New TNN (2000-2003) In September 2000, Viacom sensed redundancy among its related TNN and CMT networks when it merged them into its MTV Networks unit. Hence, it decided to refocus TNN, and in the process the channel dramatically scaled back its country-western trappings and changed its name to The National Network. The New TNN logo, used from September 2000 to August 11, 2003, often seen in various color schemes.The name change also triggered a significant programming change in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience than its original constituency of rural, or working-class, Southern whites. This change was catalyzed by Viacom's acquisition of the rights to WWF (now WWE) programming, including its flagship show RAW Is War. The Arena Football League (AFL) had broadcast on the "New" TNN with Eli Gold as an announcer. In 2001, TNN aired the first opening-round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament when organizers expanded the field to 65 teams; it was produced by CBS Sports with CBS announcers. (Both the opening round basketball game and the AFL are now carried by ESPN.) The network was also one of three to air the XFL's games (NBC and UPN being the other two). As part of its contract TNN had the rights to a late Sunday afternoon game each week except for the first week, when UPN aired the afternoon game instead. In 2001, TNN added off-network sitcoms and dramas such as Diff'rent Strokes, The Wonder Years, The Rockford Files, WKRP in Cincinnati, Newhart, Miami Vice and Taxi. TNN was also the first network to air Mad TV in syndication. This went unnoticed for the most part due to TNN's lack of popularity. By that time, all country-western programming had been purged from TNN. Some of The Nashville Network's former programming was picked up by CMT. Other classic TNN shows were picked up by GAC, including eventually the Opry, which was pushed off to CMT and eventually removed by Viacom after they did not renew the agreement to carry the series in an attempt to infuse a more youthful schedule on CMT. As time went on, the words "The National Network" were downplayed in promotions. By late 2002, the network was known simply as The New TNN and had picked up more male-oriented shows, such as Baywatch, Monster Jam, Bull Riding, Robot Wars and Star Trek: The Next Generation. This was an effort both to further distance itself from its former country music-based identity and to trumpet an increase in original programming. Television critics at the time noted disdainfully that "The New TNN" technically stood for "The New The National Network". Likewise, after more than two years in a non-country format, it had long ceased to be "new" in any meaningful sense.  Spike TV In early 2003, another name change was announced. The new brand, Spike TV, was marketed as the first network for men. (Eventually, early in 2006, the network would begin, in promotional segments it airs, referring to itself simply as "Spike", omitting the "TV".)  Spike Lee lawsuit The name change to "Spike TV" was supposed to be official on June 16, 2003. However, on June 13, film director Spike Lee won a New York Supreme Court injunction preventing the name change. Lee claimed that because of his well-known popularity in Hollywood, viewers would therefore assume that he was associated with the new network.  Lee stated in court papers that: "The media description of this change of name, as well as comments made to me and my wife, confirmed what was obvious--that Spike TV referred to Spike Lee." The network had planned an official launch of their new name at a star-studded, televised party at The Playboy Mansion in mid-June. But due to Lee's injunction, the special - titled Party With Spike - had to be heavily edited and the impact of the event was considerably muted. During the lawsuit, even the name "TNN" was significantly scaled back, as logos and voice-overs referred to the network only as "The First Network for Men." Spike Jones Jr., son of comic musician Spike Jones, became a party of the lawsuit as part of Viacom's defense to protect the rights to his father's name. The suit was settled on July 8, 2003, and TNN was allowed to call itself Spike TV. In announcing the settlement, Lee admitted that he did not believe that the network intentionally tried to trade on his name. Lee's injunction had become the subject of ridicule in the media and talk shows, thus bringing free publicity to the fledgling network. The name change became official on August 11, 2003.  Spike programming Main article: List of programs broadcast by Spike The name change was slated to coincide with an adult-oriented change in programming including original animated series Stripperella and Gary the Rat. Popular reruns such as Baywatch, V.I.P. and The A-Team, original specials such as The 100 Most Irresistible Women and imported programming such as MXC (a.k.a. Most Extreme Elimination Challenge). Spike TV hired famous cartoonist John Kricfalusi and a new version of the classic animated hit The Ren and Stimpy Show returned with new episodes in a series known as Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon. Original Nickelodeon episodes also aired uncut. The network now airs a combination of original programming and reruns of network programming, including series from the CSI and Star Trek franchises, MXC, Game Head, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, and Ultimate Fighting Championship programming. It has scored some major coups in terms of its programming, receiving syndication rights to several Star Trek series (which was produced by another Viacom branch, Paramount Pictures), as well as most of the James Bond series of movies. It is also the cable home to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and the cult TV favorite MXC, an overdubbed version of the Japanese series Takeshi's Castle. In the fall of 2003, Spike TV aired The Joe Schmo Show, a parody of reality television shows like Survivor and Big Brother. Its finale led to the network's highest ratings at the time, and a second season aired in the Summer of 2004. In November 2004, Spike TV purchased the cable/satellite syndication rights to CSI: New York for a record price of $1.9 million per episode. It joined the lineup on October 1, 2006. On November 18, 2004, they broadcasted reruns of the Nickelodeon TV series SpongeBob SquarePants at midnight, to promote The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie that came out the next day. They did this almost all night, as did another MTV Networks channel, VH1. In September 2005, all WWE (formerly the WWF) programming on Spike TV left the network as a result of acrimonious contractual matters between WWE and Viacom. WWE Raw moved back to its original cable home, NBC Universal's USA Network while WWE Sunday Night HEAT and WWE Velocity moved to WWE.com due to failure to gain a time slot for the shows in the United States. On October 1, 2005, wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling began airing its weekly program TNA Impact! in the Saturday night time slot formerly occupied by WWE Velocity. In WWE's last Monday Night Raw broadcast on the network, executives decided to censor WWE personalities whenever they tried to mention Raw's return to USA Network, scheduled for the following week. In what turned out to be a hectic night of sound suddenly vanishing, WWE's commentators finally succeeded in slipping the words "Next week on USA" past the censors at Spike TV, most likely due to Spike TV executives finally giving in. On January 18, 2005, Spike TV debuted The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), an original reality show based around the sport of mixed martial arts which proved to be a surprise hit and will begin its ninth season on April 1. Spike later extended their UFC coverage with a programming block dubbed UFC Unleashed. In October 2005, Spike TV debuted Game Head with Geoff Keighley, a weekly video game show, and later followed up with Fresh Baked Videogames, making them both part of their "Slammin' Saturday Night" lineup. Spike is also home to the annual Video Game Awards and the Spike Guys' Choice Awards.  Fresh Baked Video Games On January 14, 2006, Spike introduced the short lived video game review show Fresh Baked Videogames. Among the shows many comedy sketches, pranks and animations was its most popular segment "A Free Video Game for a Shot to The Nuts". In this segment male contestants volunteer to take a strike to their testicles for a free video game. The contestants are given options on how they will be struck, ranging from a sack of nickels, to a female soccer player. The most popular episode was episode four of season 1 which aired January 28, 2006. On this episode Swedish actress Annika Svedman dressed as an NCAA cheerleader and was selected twice by contestants to be kicked in their testicles by her. This specific segment of Annika Svedman emerged in early 2007 on YouTube and has since become an Internet phenomenon which has helped propel Svedman's notoriety. The best known version of the clip (usually distributed as a Flash clip) shows a cheerleading outfit clad Svedman (complete with pom poms) moving her legs back and forth before delivering a debilitating kick. The original clip was made and distributed on YouTube from a thread of the original segment. The clip has been continuously removed from the website for copyright infringement, however, the clip continues to reemerge due to its cult-like popularity.  Star Trek Spike has devoted large chunks of its programming time to the Star Trek franchise, to varying degrees. It initially featured Star Trek: The Next Generation heavily before introducing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 2004 and Star Trek: Voyager in 2006. All of these introductions were accompanied by multi-day marathons at some point, the Next Generation one including appearances by celebrities such as Wil Wheaton. Deep Space Nine had been relegated to late-night hours before its disappearance and The Next Generation had disappeared months before the syndication rights were bought by Sci Fi. The promotion of the Trek franchises earned Spike the colloquial title The Star Trek Channel during this period because as much as one third (eight hours) of programming blocks were devoted to the franchise. A notable omission during the period was Star Trek: Enterprise, which the channel passed on (Sci Fi proceeded to ease it into four-hour Monday night blocks). TV Land meanwhile already has the rights to Star Trek: The Original Series, but Spike stated that there may not be sufficient episodes (only three seasons) to accommodate the kind of blocks it would like to air. Sci Fi now has the rights to Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Trek series blocks have faded in recent years. What was once a 5 hour block of TNG and DS9 airing on weekdays in 2005 is now only 1 hour of Voyager shown late weeknights at 3:00AM Eastern/2:00AM Central. Spike has replaced much of that block with reruns of Disorderly Conduct: Video on Patrol.  "Get More Action" Spike booth at the 2007 Comic Con International convention in San Diego.After the Viacom/CBS Corporation split of 2005, Spike became a part of the "new" Viacom with its sibling networks in the MTV Networks family. In May 2006, the station was re-branded to accentuate its masculinity, including a new logo, dropping the second half of its network name (TV) from the logo and adding the "Get More Action" tagline. In June 2006, Spike debuted Blade: The Series, a TV series based on the Blade films. Rapper Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones played Blade in the series. David S. Goyer, writer of all three Blade films (and director of the third Blade film), wrote the pilot and served as Executive Producer on the series. It was cancelled on September 28, 2006. On September 5, 2006, the documentary film Metal of Honor: The Ironworkers of 9/11 by filmmaker Rachel Maguire, premiered on Spike. Metal of Honor is a documentary profiling the Ironworkers' efforts in the attempts for rescue and recovery on and after the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center site. The film proceeds through the Ironworkers' dismantling of the fallen towers. On October 10, 2006, Spike presented the Scream Awards, the first awards show honoring horror, science fiction, fantasy and comic books. At the 2007 Comic Con International the Spike TV booth was awarding tickets to that year's presentation ceremony to the winners of their "Scariest Costume" contest. In late 2006, Spike introduced the Late Night Strip consisting of original series that are sometimes inappropriate for daytime TV, with regular intermissions featuring women. The programming airs Thursdays and Fridays at 12:00 a.m., and includes MXC, Wild World of Spike, The Dudesons, Game Head. Throughout the summer of 2007, starting on Father's Day, the network launched its first public service campaign, the "True Dads" national outreach campaign, with former New York Yankees player Don Mattingly spokesperson. This focused on fathers who demonstrated active roles in their children's lives, through public service announcements on the network featuring both celebrity and ordinary fathers and websites such as Spike's own "True Dads" site, among other things. In April 2008, Spike aired the commercial TV premiere of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and became the first basic-cable network in the U.S. to air all six Star Wars movies. Viacom bid against NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting for this opportunity, which is worth up to $80 million, despite each of those network systems having previously aired at least part of the original trilogy. The same year, the network will begin to broadcast a reality show based on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). On the weekend of April 5 and April 6, 2008, the network aired the first three Star Wars films against the simultaneous TNT broadcast of all three Lord of the Rings films. More viewers watched the Star Wars broadcasts on Spike than watched the Lord of the Rings broadcasts on TNT. On April 7, the network acquired cable syndication rights for the sitcom Married... with Children. Five new unscripted series were picked up for the network's summer 2008 lineup. Though the programming is still aimed at the male demographic (age 18-49), Spike no longer makes the claim to be "the first network for men". Presumable motivations for this include acknowledging earlier attempts at "male-only" television (such as mentv in Canada), and the risk of losing access to its Canadian audiences due to a claim of "duplication" (in terms of programming and target audience) contrary to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations.  References ^ John Dempsey (October 10, 2007). "New Prexy For Spike TV". Daily Variety. p. 4. ^ TV Week: Kay Promoted ^ a b c Good bye Nashville Network, Country Standard Time, November 2000 ^ Stengel, Richard (1983-03-21), "Country Comes to Cable", 'TIME', http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,923376,00.html?iid=chix-sphere ^ The Nashville Network Begins With Optimism, New York Times, March 11, 1983 ^ Banks, Jack (1996). Monopoly Television: MTV's Quest to Control the Music. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. pp. 59. ISBN 0813318211. http://books.google.com/books?id=cbYcUkfUbTkC&dq=%22the+nashville+network%22. ^ 41st Annual CMA Awards | 2007 Hall of Fame Inductees ^ Line from Bill ^ TNN Tribute ^ "Music City Tonight" (1993) ^ Crook & Chase - Lorianne and Charlie ^ Good bye Nashville Network, Country Standard Time, November 2000 ^ Downey, Kevin (2001-04-09). "The new TNN: T&A, trekking and sleuths". Media Life Magazine. http://www.medialifemagazine.com/news2001/apr01/apr09/1_mon/news2monday.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. ^ Diff'rent Strokes: Broadcast stations ^ Glanzer, Ryan. Top 100 TV Shows of All-Time Countdown. RyanGlanzer.com: 2007. ^ a b c d e TNN Shooting for Lineup that's 50% More Original. Broadcasting & Cable: January 22, 2001 ^ The new TNN: T&A, trekking and sleuths, Media Life Magazine, April 1, 2001 ^ Romano, Allison (2003-04-21). "TNN Hopes Mainly Men Will Watch "Spike TV"s". http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA293348.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. ^ Breaking… - 6/16/2003 - Broadcasting & Cable ^ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Showbiz | Spike sues over channel name ^ Romano, Allison (2003-06-30). "Another Spike Stakes His Case". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA308200.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. ^ Romano, Allison (2003-07-09). "TNN, Lee resolve Spike fight". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA310409.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. ^ Romano, Allison (2003-07-28). "Spike to Start, Finally, Aug. 11". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA313236.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. ^ "Fresh Baked Video Games" (2006) - Episode list ^ Shot To The Nuts - Fresh Baked VG - Viral - SPIKE ^ Annika Svedman ^ MySpaceTV Videos: kick nuts by antonio ^ "Ghost Whisperer", "Star Trek: TNG" to Haunt Sci-Fi Channel, Zap2It.com, May 5, 2008 ^ PR Newswire (2006-03-22). Spike TV Launches Rebranding Campaign. Press release. http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/03-22-2006/0004325201&EDATE=. Retrieved on 2007-08-31. ^ Heffernan, Virginia. Metal of Honor: Building on Ground Zero. The New York Times: September 5, 2006. ^ Weprin, Alex. Spike TV Orders DEA Reality Show. Broadcasting & Cable: January 10, 2008 ^ Ryan, Joal (2008-04-08). "Star Wars vs. LOTR: And the Winner Is...". E! Online News. http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=0f54ca0e-52de-44e1-b6c2-1c4595b1c830. Retrieved on 2008-04-08. ^ Weprin, Alex (2008-04-07). "Spike TV Acquires Married...With Children". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6548537.html?rssid=193. Retrieved on 2008-04-08. ^ Weprin, Alex (2008-05-08). "Spike TV Picks Up Five Unscripted Series". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6558935.html?rssid=193. 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