A Viacom-owned network dedicated to every single male interest possible, as you might've been able to tell by its edgy name. Basically the Rated "M" for Manly Network, though some may say they lampshade this often enough to venture into Testosterone Poisoning and invariably into Unfortunate Implications..
Originally, it was known as TNN, a country music channel launched two days after rival CMT. The Nashville Network was originally owned by Gaylord Entertainment, alongside Westinghouse Broadcasting (an arm of Westinghouse Electric Company). Westinghouse, after becoming CBS Corporation, purchased all of TNN (and CMT, which Gaylord bought in 1991) in 1997. While it focused mainly on music videos, TNN included original programming such as the game shows Top Card, NASCAR races, and outdoor, lifestyle and talk shows targeted to a country audience.
Viacom bought CBS in 2000, and merged TNN and CMT into MTV Networks. In order to avoid redundancy, TNN was retooled into The National Network, or The New TNN, which tried to go beyond the Southern demographic, and was Viacom's second attempt at a "general entertainment" channel (the first was USA Network, which they were once a part-owner of). Its most successful original program was WWE Raw. While that still sounds like a part of the original demographic, The New TNN also featured reruns of shows such as Baywatch, Diff'rent Strokes, Miami Vice, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Threes Company.
In 2003, the network title was completely changed to Spike TV, or simply Spike as it is called now. The name change was delayed a little from a lawsuit by director Spike Lee, who claimed that viewers would associate the network with him. Unsurprisingly, the Spike network won the case. It did set up an awkward situation where a party at the Playboy Mansion celebrating the new network had to have censor bars and bleeping all over the place to remove all mentions of "Spike" until they got their issues ironed out with Mr. Lee.
Raw stuck around for a while but went back to its original home on the USA Network due to problems between WWE and Viacom, causing Spike to fill the Professional Wrestling void with the competition...and CSI reruns.
On February 8, 2017, Viacom announced that Spike will be rebranded as the Paramount Network on January 18, 2018.
Notable original programming on Spike:
- Deadliest Warrior
- The Joe Schmo Show
- MXC (or Most Extreme Elimination Challenge), which is simply a Gag Dub of an 80's Japanese game show called Takeshi's Castle.
- Impact Wrestling
- Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon
- The Ultimate Fighter, an elimination style reality-series with guys competing to become a UFC fighter; this has consistently been one of the top-rated shows on the network since its inception.
- UFC Unleashed, an anthology series that airs classic or previously unaired UFC fights.
- 1000 Ways to Die
- CSI marathons, mostly of the original flavour but sometimes including CSINY. Never CSI: Miami, as that show is on A&E.
- Blue Mountain State
- Auction Hunters
- Gary the Rat
- Scream Awards -- an annual award show dedicated to sci-fi, fantasy, and horror movies & television shows, as well as comic books.