Cable network Spike TV has been proudly courting male viewers throughout its 12-year history, but veteran TV writer David Bauder reports for AP that Spike is “throwing open the door of its boys’ clubhouse to women.”
The occasion is this week’s premiere of “Lip Sync Battle,” which targets males and females equally. The show is inspired by the lip-sync battles on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” on NBC.
“Fallon and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson are featured in the first episode, with LL Cool J as host,” Bauder writes. “Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Terrence Howard, Queen Latifah, Justin Bieber and Mike Tyson are among others who will show their performance chops on the show’s initial run.”
“Lip Sync Battle” debuted with back-to-back episodes Thursday night.
Bauder notes that Spike has been gently softening its touch for a few years, and recently ramped up the transition when it rolled out a softer tagline, “the ones to watch.”
Writes Bauder: “The young male focus was smart when Viacom converted the Nashville Network to Spike. It was considered such a tough demographic to reach that advertisers paid a premium to put their commercials on shows and networks that succeeded.”
But with young males rapidly abandoning linear TV, the strategy of building a network around them now seems riskier than it once was.
The piece quotes Spike President Kevin Kay saying: “We never want to lose the guys that we’ve had all these years. We want to keep them. We just want to add their friends and their girlfriends to watch with them.”
Please click on the link near the top of this story to read more of Bauder’s insights in the AP article.