Spike Tees Up Amateur Night for Joes

Spike TV will team up with Clear Channel Entertainment to pit regular guys against their sports idols in a new reality show Pros vs. Joes. The show debuts on the male-targeted cable network in April 2006. It will feature teams of three regular guys competing against teams of five pro-athletes in physical challenges on a variety of sports. In the finale, the top performing "Pros" will play the top "Joes," with the Joes vying for a dream sports package.

The show, produced by Clear Channel Entertainment Television and MY Entertainment, is currently casting for Joes. Pros to be involved in the series include football stars Jerry Rice, Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Tony Dorsett, Bill Goldberg and Jim McMahon; basketball’s Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins, Muggsy Bogues and Xavier McDaniel; baseball’s Dave Stewart; soccer’s Brandi Chastain and Alexi Lalas; volleyball’s Misty May; softball’s Jennie Finch and swimming’s Gary Hall Jr.

Spike has seen ratings growth recently due to female-skewing acquired hit CSI and it recently lost out to USA on keeping the rights to continue to run a guy hit, WWE wrestling. But the MTV Network channel is making strides toward acquiring and producing more male-targeted fare: This summer, it bought reruns of FX’s The Shield from Sony and this week is finalizing a deal to buy the exclusive rights to all six of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars movies, its biggest movie buy ever.

Spike, which was formerly TNN before re-launching to target men in 2003, averaged 1.65 million total viewers in prime time during the third quarter, up 36% from last year.