Spike Finds More Content Online, Picks Up Angel of Death

Spike TV will air the web series Angel of Death on its cable channel this summer, continuing Spike’s recent trend of acquiring online content.

Angel, which stars stuntwoman Zoe Bell as an assassin (see our review and our interview with Bell), was produced by Sony’s (s SNE) Crackle.com and debuted in March. The 10-part series was a hit online and by last count had generated 4.8 million plays — a strong showing for a drama.

Spike will air all 10 episodes as a 90-minute movie on July 25, three days before it will be released on DVD. When we spoke with Angel writer Ed Brubaker (embedded here), he indicated that this bundling of the series together into one film was always part of the plan, and one of the reasons why they had a $1 million budget (fairly large for a web show) to produce the series.

Spike is on a bit of a tear when it comes to acquiring web content. Earlier this year, it ordered 11 episodes of the James Gunn-directed series PG-Porn for use on Spike.com, and more recently, the network brought the comedy web series MoCap LLC to television.

MoCap LLC’s TV Transition Is Flawlessly Rendered

[show=mocapllc size=large]Moving from the web to TV can be a daunting task — just ask the guys at CollegeHumor. After all, mo’ money can truly mean mo’ problems, especially when you have to kowtow to censors and studio heads, increase the run time of episodes by 300 percent, and produce each episode knowing that the fickle viewing public could get you canceled faster than Michael Phelp’s butterfly stroke.

But fortunately, Worldwide Biggie’s MoCap LLC seems to be doing well creatively at its new home on Spike TV. A behind-the-scenes look at a fictitious motion-capture company, the show is really a showcase for extreme personalities engaging in strange behavior — the kind of comedy that works best if it’s written well. Thankfully, due to creator Chris DeLuca, it does.

In its TV incarnation, MoCap still leans heavily on the fauxumentary format that Chris Albrecht called cliché back in January 2008. And the rest of the show’s staples report in for duty: video game jokes, hot chicks, and a twisted bent to its humor that just barely avoids being offensive. It’s the skewed humor that won me over in the first episode of the web series. I knew it was wrong to laugh when Jeff was forced to act out scenes from the game Secret Cutting, but I just couldn’t stop.

And because it airs after midnight on basic cable, MoCap in its television incarnation operates under incredibly lax, though occasionally arbitrary, standards and practices. Read More about MoCap LLC’s TV Transition Is Flawlessly Rendered