New channel Spike is headed to British screens on April 15, dragging the fifth season of US zombie thriller The Walking Dead with it.
Every episode of hit teacher-turned-dealer drama Breaking Bad will also be broadcast in the UK for the first time on Spike, alongside original UK-based content.
British TV hardman and former professional footballer Vinnie Jones with helm Police Interceptors Unleashed, following high-speed police chases while Tattoo Disasters UK promises a look at failed attempts at body art.
Channel 5’s programme director, Ben Frow is confident of the new channel’s success and said: “Spike is a driven, high-energy channel offering a point of view and programme mix I think is different from anything else on British TV right now. I can’t wait to see our viewers embrace this exhilarating new channel.”
Frow is heading a team that will oversee commissions, acquisitions and scheduling for Spike. So far, this team has nabbed the UK premiere of Olympus, a Greek myths-based fantasy drama will land on the channel as will future episodes of Justified, which has previously been shown on Channel 5.
Lip Sync Battle, hosted by LL Cool J, will be the entertainment flagship of Spike’s launch schedule and will feature co-creator Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies, Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show) in a recurring role.
Sons of Anarchy will also feature on Spike. While this, along with The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad aren’t exactly new shows, it’ll be welcome news to anyone who hasn’t been able to get (or afford) Netflix at home.
MMA fans will also be able to get an adrenaline kick with Bellator MMA and thanks to a deal with BAMMA (British Association of Mixed Martial Arts) Spike will eventually host a ‘Fight Night’ show on Saturdays.
Spike will launch on Freeview (channel 31) and other digital terrestrial platforms (YouView, EE TV) on April 15. Sky customers will be able to tune in to Spike on channel 160, while Freesat viewers can point their remotes at channel 141.
It’s not yet known if Spike content will be available through Demand 5, Channel 5’s on-demand and catch-up service.
The new channel will, like the US channel, offer a blend of acquired drama and blockbuster films, factual library content and extreme sports.