Extra: Spike orders Taffer pilot; Olympic Channel to launch

In today's 'Extra,' Spike TV orders a late-night talk show featuring Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer (pictured), while History UK looks to explore the history of the game of pool and the Olympic Channel prepares its digital launch.
July 28, 2016

Spike backs “Bar Rescue” and star Jon Taffer

Viacom-owned cable network Spike TV has commissioned an untitled late night talk show pilot featuring Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer (pictured). The pilot, produced by 3 Ball Entertainment, is part of Spike’s first-look agreement with Taffer, who will also exec produce the series.

Elsewhere, the net has also provided Bar Rescue with a 30-episode order for its fifth season, which is scheduled to premiere August 7 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

Spike has also ordered ten additional Back to the Bar specials, slated to air throughout season five. The specials will continue to revisit infamous bars from the series’ past, while also incorporating a studio audience to celebrate the show’s most memorable personalities. Specials will also feature never-before-seen footage of Taffer’s experts checking back in at previously rescued bars.

History commissions Ronnie O’Sullivan-fronted series from North One

A+E Networks UK-owned net History UK has ordered a travelogue series that will journey across the American landscape to discover the history behind the game of pool.

Produced by North One Television, Rocket Ronnie’s American Hustle (4 x 60 minutes) will feature snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and sportscaster Matt Smith as they travel across the U.S. to discover the “hidden gems and highlights” of pool culture. The series will also follow the duo to local pool halls to play resident pool sharks. The series is expected to air on History UK in early 2017.

History’s Diana Carter serves as executive producer alongside North One’s John Quinn. Chris Amess is series producer. Rachel Job commissioned the series for History. All3Media International is handling distribution.

Olympic Channel sets launch date 

International Olympic Committee-backed OTT platform Olympic Channel is scheduled to launch at the conclusion of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The digital-first channel will be made available 24/7 worldwide following the Games’ closing ceremony on August 21, launching across its website and mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

The Olympic Channel will present original programming, live sports events, news and highlights, and will include both short- and long-form content. Though designed for a global audience, it will initially be offered in English with subtitled offerings available in nine languages. Additional features at launch include video on demand viewing options.

Following the digital launch, the channel will work with other Olympic stakeholders, including rights-holding broadcasters and National Olympic Committees, to develop language-specific user experiences on digital platforms, with options available for linear television.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.