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Viacom to spike the Spike network

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NEW YORK -- Cable television’s Spike network will be transformed into the Paramount network early next year, introducing new series with stars to include Alicia Silverstone and Michael Shannon.

In its announcement Thursday, owner Viacom billed the rebranded network as “a prime destination for premium storytelling.” Spike, launched in 2003, has focused on young men.

Paramount’s slate of new series will include “American Woman,” starring Silverstone as a feminism-driven single mother struggling to raise her two daughters in the 1970s.

The limited series “Waco,” starring Shannon and John Leguizamo, will cover the 51-day siege between the government and the Branch Davidians spiritual sect.

And “Heathers” will be a black-comedy anthology based on the 1988 film, with Shannen Doherty among its stars.

In addition, Spike-bred hit “Lip Sync Battle” will return for its fourth season. Other returning shows include “Ink Master” and “Bar Rescue.”

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