Spike TV Picks Up Blade Series

Spike TV has given the green-light for a television series based on Marvel Super Hero Blade as the network’s first original scripted series. The network has ordered 11 one-hour episodes, in addition to the previously announced two-hour kick-off episode, to be produced by New Line Television, set to commence production in Vancouver this spring. Blade premieres in June 2006.

“We’re extremely pleased with the pilot for ‘Blade,’ which delivers a thrilling action-adventure for its built-in fan base as well as a character- driven drama filled with heart-pounding tension and suspense,” says Pancho Mansfield, Executive Vice President, Original Programming at Spike TV. “The series will be the first of our scripted fare as we embark on creating a greater mix of original programming for our viewers.”

Blade focuses on Marvel’s eponymous immortal warrior fighting a shadowy underworld of vampires who want to destroy the human race. The title character is a half-man, half-vampire who uses his superhuman powers and skills to fearlessly battle the demonic creatures of the night in a blood- drenched crusade to prevent the ascendance of vampires over mankind.

The Spike TV weekly series will maintain continuity from the highly successful movie trilogy but will bring the main character into a new storyline with new characters.

Kirk “Sticky” Jones (“Over There”) stars in the leading role of Blade. Kirk Jones first became widely known as “Sticky Fingaz,” the front man for the hip-hop group Onyx. He later appeared and starred in a number of feature films including “Clockers,” “Dead Presidents” and “Flight of the Phoenix”. Most recently, Jones appeared regularly on FX’s “Over There” and “The Shield.” Rounding out the series cast are Jill Wagner (“Monk”), Neil Jackson (“Stargate SG-1″), Nelson Lee (“Traffic,” the TV mini-series) and Jessica Gower (“Blurred”).

Acclaimed screenwriter and executive producer David S. Goyer (“Blade” trilogy and Batman Begins) and popular comic book writer Geoff Johns who worked on the Blade tele-movie, have also signed on for the series production. The tele-movie is directed by Peter O’Fallon (“Suicide Kings,” “American Gothic”).

Bill McGoldrick, Vice President, Original Programming and Lisa Ullmann, Director of Original Programming, are executives responsible for production at Spike TV. Avi Arad, Chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios, Ari Arad, Executive Vice President, Marvel Studios, Jim Rosenthal and Jon Kroll of New Line Television will serve as executive producers.

Source: Spike TV