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13 Apr 2009

Spike Goes Pirate Hunting With US Navy

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SPIKE GOES PIRATE HUNTING WITH THE US NAVY IN
“PIRATE HUNTERS: USN”


US Navy To Allow Embedded Access To Spike And 44 Blue Productions
In Fight To End Threat Of Real-Life Pirates Terrorizing Coast Of Africa

New York, NY, April 13, 2009 – The recent dramatic increase in piracy off the coast of Africa has made news headlines around the world and now Spike TV has partnered with the Emmy Award-winning reality production house 44 Blue Productions (“The True Story of Black Hawk Down,” “Lockup”) and Adam Friedman (“Vertical Ascent”) for production on the pilot “Pirate Hunters: USN” (working title), an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the US Navy operation to end this deadly threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

“We are thrilled to be front and center with the Navy on such an important mission,” says Sharon Levy, senior vice president, original series for Spike. “The access we have will really give our viewers the kind of heart-stopping action they have come to expect from Spike programming.”

These often-violent hijackings off the coast of eastern Africa not only pose a grave threat to the lives of sailors taking cargo through the region, but are also starting to add an exorbitant amount to the cost of worldwide trade. Now, television viewers will be able to see this dramatic, tension-filled and high-stakes military mission first-hand.

“Piracy off the coast of Africa is a real and deadly threat,” said Rasha Drachkovitch, president and founder of 44 Blue Productions. “With ‘Pirate Hunters: USN,’ our goal is to capture that drama for the TV audience in order to highlight the heroic work undertaken by the US Navy every day in this fight against terrorism.”

The US Navy is allowing Spike and 44 Blue Productions in-depth access as they embark on their mission from the military base in the seaside nation of Djibouti (bordering Somalia and Ethiopia) and on the open water. Cameras will capture every element of life aboard two US warships, the USS San Antonio and USS Boxer, as they patrol 1.1 million square miles of ocean for the pirates who call this region home.

Drachkovitch and award-winning producer Adam Friedman will serve as executive producers. Sharon Levy and Tim Duffy are the executives in charge of production for the pilot for Spike TV.

About 44 Blue Productions
44 Blue Productions, Inc. is a top supplier of reality, documentary, lifestyle, and action-adventure programming, having produced more than 1000 hours of programming for leading broadcast and cable outlets including: A&E, Animal Planet, CBS, Discovery Channel , ESPN, HBO, History Channel, Lifetime, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, PBS, Spike TV, Style Channel, TLC, and truTV. Some of the company’s current projects include MSNBC’s “Lockup” the #1-rated prison series on television, “Stringers: LA” for truTV, “LA Gang Unit” for A&E, Style Network’s “Peter Perfect” and Emmy-nominated “Split Ends” as well as the Peabody and Emmy Award winning series “A Place of Our Own” and “Los Niños en Su Casa” for PBS. In 2008, 44 Blue launched the syndicated series “Family Court with Judge Penny” seen in over 85% of the country. Rasha Drachkovitch and Stephanie Drachkovitch are executive producers. For more information, visit www.44blue.com

About Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman is an award-winning film and television producer with more than 25 years of experience in telling the stories of everyday men and women in extraordinary circumstances. His diverse credits include an Emmy Award-winning documentary on the heroes of the NYPD, many Emmy Award-nominated episodes of A&E’s series “Biography,” and music videos for The Rolling Stones.

About Spike TV
Spike TV is available in 98 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.

 

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Contact:

Debra Fazio-Rutt Spike 212/767-8649 debra.fazio@spiketv.com