Spike vs. Spike TV

He must be thinking he’s “doing the right thing!” Bloomberg reported today that filmmaker Spike Lee has sued Viacom over its decision to rename its TNN cable TV network Spike TV to grab more male eyeballs.

Lee said in a lawsuit filed in New York that he was “extremely upset” over the name Viacom chose for the network. He said he has no connection with it. Lee said in court papers that it is obvious that “Spike TV referred to Spike Lee.”

Viacom announced the name change April 15 in an attempt to build on an audience that’s already about 65% male. TNN’s top-rated show is World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s WWE Raw. The cable station is introducing a new animated adult block featuring Stan Lee’s Stripperella, John Kricfalusi’s Ren & Stimpy Show and Kelsey Grammer’s Gary the Rat toon this month. The name change is scheduled to take effect June 16.

In response to the suit, Spike TV issued a statement saying it expects to win the case. “We have the utmost respect for Mr. Lee as one of the industry’s most important filmmakers,” the network said. “We are certain however, that our conduct in launching Spike TV was completely appropriate.”