Paramount Network is gearing up for its official launch in January 2018, and today it announced it’s teaming with Time Inc. for multiple new nonscripted series.
The series, which are currently in pilot production, will be linked to Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly.
Production company Jerry Bruckheimer TV will use the one-hour “Sports Illustrated: True Crime” (which is a working title) to explore crimes related to athletes and professional sports. Each television episode will be accompanied by a piece on SI.com and in the print magazine.
Time Inc. Productions and Conveyor Media are producing “Entertainment Weekly: The Bullseye,” a “late-night, comedy panel/talk show” based on the magazine’s column of the same name. Time said the half-hour series will feature a celebrity host and panelists who will debate over the week’s pop culture stories.
Chachi Senior, senior vice president of alternative programming at Paramount Network, will be in charge of productions along with Tori Socha, vice president of development, and Dana Tuinier, vice president of development and original programming.
Viacom will officially launch Paramount Network, the rebranded version of Spike TV, on Jan. 18.
Paramount Network will kick off with a special live one-hour episode of “Lip Sync Battle,” one of the series that’s making the jump from Spike to Paramount.
Other returning series including “Ink Master” and “Bar Rescue,” and Bellator MMA fighting will join new series including “Waco,” a new limited event series starring Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch based on the 1993 Waco, Texas, siege.
Kevin Kay, president of Spike, TV Land and CMT, said the January relaunch was set in part so the new network wouldn’t have to compete too heavily with sports like NFL, NBA and NHL, but also so Viacom had time to put together a programming slate.
“While we were anxious to do the rebranding as quickly as possible, making great programming takes time,” Kay said.