Blade Off and Running

Spike TV drew record ratings for the debut of its first scripted action drama, Blade, the vanguard of its rebranding and focus on action shows--its new slogan: "Get More Action."

Under President Doug Herzog, the cable net promised advertisers last March that it was putting its money where its mouth was, making its biggest-ever commitment to scripted originals.

Blade's June 28 two-hour debut at 10-midnight averaged a 2 household rating (2.4 million viewers) and was the top entertainment show on basic cable in its target demos of men 18-34 and 18-49 as well as the top original series debut for the network.

The network was claiming 400%-500% time-period gains over the year before in those key male demos but did not say what programming it was beating so phenomenally

The two-hour Blade debut can also be downloaded for free through July 11 on iTunes, with succeeding hour episodes available for purchase on the online service the day after their airing.

Blade is based on the Marvel comic about a half-man, half-vampire who battles demonic forces to save mankind.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.