SPIKE TV DIGS DOWN DEEP FOR NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, “COAL”

March 22nd, 2011 by SPIKE Press

SPIKE TV DIGS DOWN DEEP FOR NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, “COAL”FEATURING THE LIVES OF WEST VIRGINIA COAL MINERS

Premieres Wednesday, March 30 At 10 PM, ET/PT

Series Narrated By Jeremy Sisto

Series Produced By Reality Powerhouse Thom Beers’ Original Productions

March 21, 2011 Spike TV takes viewers down into the depths of the earth for an unprecedented look at one of the most dangerous and compelling jobs in the world, coal mining.  Spike TV will premiere the 10 episode, one-hour docu-reality series, narrated by Jeremy Sisto, starting Wednesday, March 30 at 10 PM, ET/PT.  The series comes to Spike from Thom Beers’ Original Productions, a FremantleMedia company.  Beers is the mastermind behind hit cable series that explore high-risk occupations such as the Emmy® Award-winning “Deadliest Catch,” “Ice Road Truckers” and “Ax Men.”

“Coal” centers on the operations of a single mine, Cobalt Coal, located deep in the heart of coal country in McDowell County, West Virginia.  The story is told through the eyes of part owners, Mike Crowder and Tom Roberts. The two struck up a mining partnership while watching their sons practice football and have invested their life savings into starting this mine operation.  Crowder and Roberts face pressure every minute of every day to keep the mine up and running or face personal financial ruin but, more importantly, to keep their workers safe in a highly combustible environment where one wrong move could prove deadly.

Coal mining is an integral part of the American economy and the lifeblood of many communities, not only across the United States, but around the entire world.    Cobalt is a metallurgical mine and the coal mined here is used primarily for making steel. This type of mining is called pillar mining, which means miners enter the bottom of a mountain horizontally and cut channels through the rock that measure a mere 36 to 48 inches in height.  It is within this cramped, claustrophobic environment more than 600 feet into the mountain that “Coal’s” life and death drama unfolds.

“Coal” also focuses on Cobalt’s machine operators, foremen, electricians and bolt operators in one of the most dangerous workplaces on the planet, underneath the mountains of Appalachia.  “Coal” tells the personal stories of sacrifice and survival that these miners face each day to provide for their families and keep their local communities thriving.

Viewers can learn more about coal mining and the miners at Cobalt Coal by visiting coal.spike.com. The site offers exclusive videos, interviews with the miners and production crew, an interactive map of West Virginia where Cobalt Coal is located and a series of informational articles about the coal industry.   Spike has also launched COAL badges as part of its social media outreach for the series.   Found on Spike’s “Coal” Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/SpikeCoal fans, supporters and family members of coal miners can post COAL badges in their Facebook newsfeed showing their pride and support of coal miners.   Viewers can also follow the “Coal” Twitter @COAL_SPIKE for all the latest on the series including pre-screening events in Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Sharon Levy is Spike TV’s executive vice president, original series and animation, Tim Duffy is vice president of original programming for Spike TV and Joe Weinstock is director, original programming.  Executive Producers for Original Productions are Thom Beers and Philip D. Segal and co-executive producers are Jeff Conroy and Eric Lange.

ABOUT SPIKE TV:

Spike TV is available in 99.4 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.   Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company

Founded by Thom Beers, Original Productions produces authentic non-fiction programming featuring everyday heroes in extraordinary situations including the Emmy® Award Winning Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, Black Gold, The Colony, Wild Justice, Storage Wars and 1,000 Ways To Die. Beers’ steadfast focus on top-notch storytelling with engaging personalities in high risk circumstances has produced more than 1,200 hours of original programming. In February 2009, a majority stake in the 12 year-old-company was purchased by FremantleMedia, one of the leading creators and producers of world-wide entertainment brands. www.originalproductions.com/ www.fremantlemedia.com

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Hi-Res Photos & Captions For The Series Are Available For Download At:

http://www.spike.com/press/shows/coal/

Press Contacts:

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

Salil Gulati                  Spike                                       212-767-8705       salil.gulati@mtvstaff.com

Maggie Nye                Vendely Communications      818-783-3707             maggie@vendely.com

SPIKE TV’S HIT SERIES “AUCTION HUNTERS” RETURNS FOR A SECOND SEASON TUESDAY, APRIL 5 AT 10:00 PM, ET/PT

March 21st, 2011 by SPIKE Press

SPIKE TV’S HIT SERIES “AUCTION HUNTERS”

RETURNS FOR A SECOND SEASON

TUESDAY, APRIL 5 AT 10:00 PM, ET/PT

The Network’s Popular Original Unscripted Show Goes Coast-To-Coast

Delving Into The Intriguing World Of Storage-Unit Auctions

New York, NY, March 3, 2011Spike TV’s hit original series “Auction Hunters” returns for a second season with 20 new episodes starting Tuesday, April 5 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT.  Season two, which continues to follow two of the best prospectors in the business, Allen Haff and Clinton “Ton” Jones, kicks off in Miami with back-to-back episodes featuring the intense drama of highly competitive storage auctions in South Florida.  The new season will travel across the country showcasing the lucrative and often cutthroat world of storage-unit auctions through the eyes of the renowned auction-hunting duo.

Season one of “Auction Hunters” averaged a robust 1.5 million viewers, with the finale in late December delivering 2.3 million viewers.  The series also drew new viewers to Spike and expanded the network’s fan base with Men 35+.

Every year in America, 50,000 storage facilities hold auctions for abandoned storage units and, at these auctions, over $1 billion worth of goods changes hands.  Each unit has the potential to be a goldmine or a bust for those who make their living hunting unclaimed property.  “Auction Hunters” cuts the lock and opens the door into the high stakes, financial risks and potential rewards where the right purchase can bring in serious cash.  The series follows Haff and Jones in their quest to win auctions, dig for abandoned historical treasure and sell them for a profit.  This season they uncover high-valued items including a Winchester model 1912 shotgun valued at $1,500 and the exact scale remote control replica of a $3,000,000 luxury Viper Fan Jet plane valued at $11,500.     

Allowed only a brief glimpse inside the unit before each fast-paced auction begins, skill and strategy are paramount as Haff and Jones have only seconds to estimate the value and determine how high they’re willing to bid to beat out the completion.  Each episode will also feature “the dig,” a process by which our hunters literally dig into the contents of the unit and assess every item within as well as “the sell” where they consult experts, establish value and negotiate a sale with collectors and dealers.

Spike.com will also get into all the behind-the-scenes auction action with “Auction Hunters.”  In addition to featuring weekly preview clips and highlight segments from each episode once the season starts, auctionhunters.spike.com currently features the entire first season of full episodes.  Fans can also connect to the series via the official Auction Hunters Facebook page.

“Auction Hunters” is produced by Gurney Productions and executive produced by Scott Gurney, Deirdre Gurney and Philip Lott.  Sharon Levy is Spike TV’s executive vice president, original series and animation, Tim Duffy is senior vice president of original programming for Spike TV and Joe Weinstock is senior director, original programming.

Allen Haff is a second generation antiques dealer and collector with over 20 years of experience in the field.  By the age of 24, he owned his first antique business in Houston, TX and was one of the earliest eBay sellers of vintage collectibles online.  He moved to Los Angeles ten years ago and immediately began hunting in storage unit auctions, Hollywood thrift stores, estate sales and swap meets and earned a living buying and selling antiques and collectibles.  In 2008, Haff started Hollywood & Vintage, a high volume liquidation company specializing in movie memorabilia and vintage collectibles that he operates from his office and warehouse in Los Angeles.

Ton Jones is a self-described hobbyist who has spent years hunting and fishing, as well as collecting knives, swords, guns, old currency and jewelry.  Jones was introduced to storage unit auctions more than seven years ago when he was looking for old cars to take into the desert to wreck for fun, but what he found was a world specifically tailored to his unique skills.  Jones, an imposing figure standing over 6’0”, 300lbs., is a renowned auction hunter in the Southern California area.  Jones’ expertise lays in rare coins and weaponry, such as medieval swords, daggers and armor.

Spike TV is available in 99.4 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.   Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

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Press Contact:             Shana Tepper                Spike TV                   212-767-4275

Auction Hunters

March 18th, 2011 by Craig Tinsley

Press Downloads

March 3rd, 2011 by SPIKE Press

Press Release – Mar 5, 2011

Miner Bios

Press Photo Captions