via press release:
SPIKE TV DIGS DOWN DEEP FOR NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, “COAL”
Thom Beers To Produce New Documentary-Reality Series Featuring The Lives Of West Virginia Coal Miners
“When you’re in a pitch-black shaft 500 feet from daylight, a single misstep, a bump from a headlamp or a misplaced cord can bring tons of Earth caving in around you and your crew.” — Tom, a West Virginia Coal miner
New York, NY, October 14, 2010 – Spike TV and reality powerhouse-producer, Thom Beers, take viewers down into the depths of the Earth for an unprecedented look at one of the world’s most dangerous and compelling jobs, coal mining. Spike TV will premiere the 10 episode, one-hour series in April 2011. The series will be executive produced by Beers’ Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company. Beers is the mastermind behind hit cable shows that explore high-risk occupations such as the Emmy(R) Award- winning “Deadliest Catch,” “Ice Road Truckers” and “Axe Men.”
“Coal mining is an integral part of the American economy and the lifeblood of communities across the U.S. and the world,” said Sharon Levy, executive vice president, original series and animation, Spike TV. “This series is going to shine a light on the brave men and women and their families who endure the rigors of this arduous profession.”
The Spike TV original series explores coal mining through the eyes of Mike Crowder and Tom Roberts, co-owners of Cobalt Mine in Westchester, West Virginia, and the area’s hard-working miners, families and community members.
The duo leads more than 40 machine operators, foremen, electricians and drivers in one of the most dangerous workplaces on the planet. They face pressure every minute of every day to keep the mine up and running, and to keep their workers alive. Every aspect of the job will be covered, from the dangers behind the super-charged explosions needed to open surface mines, to the well publicized daily dangers of working in the dark recesses of the earth’s crust in a traditional shaft mine.
Mike and Tom are loyal family men and they require the support of their loved ones to tackle the daily demands of the mine. Tom’s commitment to the job is reflected in a mining career that’s spanned more than 45 years. He has seen his share of accidents and knows that any mistake can bring disaster.
Mike learned to get his hands dirty at a young age, growing up the son of a tire shop owner. A former college football star, Mike worked as a computer consultant for 20 years until he went into business with Tom in 2007. The pair struck up a coal mining partnership while watching their sons practice football.
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.
ABOUT SPIKE TV:
Spike TV is available in 98.6 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 http://www.spike.com.
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(R) Award Winning Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men and Black Gold, and The Colony. 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. http://www.originalproductions.com/ http://www.fremantlemedia.com