SPEED unveils summer programming plans


Not long after the February launch of new original productions including “Car Warriors” and “American Trucker,” SPEED has named new shows in development for summer premieres. With the working title, “Ultimate Gymkhana,” an automotive spectacle being shepherded by The Fast & the Furious director Rob Cohen and produced by WATV Productions, completed a pilot shoot last week at the working California Steel Industries plant in Fontana, the site of movie shoots including Cohen’s The Running Man, as well as Terminator 2 and Mission: Impossible 3.

With gymkhana, super-fast cars are let loose and perform at the level of figure skating or gymnastics. They dance, spin, jump and they perform with precision and a sense of fun.

Funnyman Adam Carolla has begun taping segments with fellow panelists Dan Neil, John Salley and Matt Farrah for “The Car Show,” a studio-based program where everything in the automotive world is fair game.

SPEED also has commissioned a full pilot for the title “Come Drive With Me,” from the producers of the popular international program, Come Dine with Me.

Each non-serialized 30-minute episode brings together four men and women totally obsessed with their cars. They pack themselves into each other’s rides  and take them for a spin on the streets. After each test drive, they will rate each other’s cars on multiple criteria.

The network has requested a pilot for a program entitled “Stump the Junkies” and SPEED also is teaming with Sony and Nissan on a reality series based on the red-hot video game, Gran Turismo 5.

From the producers of ABC’s slapstick network competition show, Wipeout, SPEED received a demo entitled “Whipped.” The 60-minute game show allows contestants to show off their driving skills on extreme obstacle courses behind the wheel of their own car. Winners receive the ultimate customization package for their ride.

New episodes of the The 10 (Season 2) and Pass Time (Season 8) also will premiere this summer.