Spike TV’s hit original and the first tattoo reality-competition series “Ink Master” is getting in the festive spirit with two holiday-themed specials, ‘Merry Ink’ and ‘New Year’s Ink.’  Each special brings back well-known “Ink Master” alumni to compete and design holiday-inspired tattoos to win a grand prize of $10,000, which is awarded at the end of the episodes.  Every drop of ink counts, there are no flash challenges on these episodes and after every round, one artist is eliminated from their chance at “Ink Master” redemption.

‘Merry Ink,’ (#MerryInk) airing on Tuesday, December 23 at 10pm ET/PT brings back four contestants who fell just short of winning the ‘Ink Master’ title during their respective seasons.  Though each artist performed phenomenal tattoos, they were told to pack up their equipment and close up shop.  They are all returning with something to prove, that they should have been chosen “Ink Master.”  In a crazy twist, the artists will tattoo the same group of human canvases throughout the competition.  The canvases, who are hoping to get several holiday themed tattoos, face elimination alongside their artists at the end of each round.  The artists competing in this episode are James Vaughn (season one), Tatu Baby (season two and three), Jime Litwalk (season three) and Sausage (season 4).

‘New Year’s Ink,’ (#NewYearsInk) airing on Tuesday, December 30 at 10pm ET/PT sees the return of four contestants who each had extraordinary circumstances that lead to their dramatic eliminations.  These artists are looking to put the past behind and start out fresh with a ‘new year.’  The artists competing in this episode are Al Fliction (season one), Cee Jay Jones (season two), Joshua Hibbard (season three and five) and Gentle Jay (season four).

These two holiday-themed specials are designed to not only test the artists technical skills, but also their interpersonal skills and on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo on a ‘Human Canvas.’  After each round, the artists will face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (“Miami Ink”) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo).   The holiday masterpieces or mistakes these artists create will last a lifetime.

Viewers can find clips and full episodes on spike.com, and also join the conversation live using the hashtags #MerryInk and #NewYearsInk.  The latest in tattoo culture and Ink Master news can be found on the official “Ink Master” Facebook page, on Twitter @spikeinkmaster, Tumblr and on Instagram @spikeinkmaster.

“Ink Master” is once again proving to be a ratings driver for the network and has improved the timeslot in Adults 18-49 by 38% and 41% in Adults 18-34. The series is 47% male, demonstrating the network’s ongoing plan to deliver gender-balanced original hit series.

“Ink Master” is produced for Spike by Original Media (“Swamp People,” “Comic Book Men,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Grilled,” “Dual Survival,” and “NY Ink”) with Charlie Corwin, Daniel Laikind and Andrea Richter serving as Executive Producers. Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol USA.

Sharon Levy is Spike’s Executive Vice President, Original Series, Chris Rantamaki is Senior Vice President of Original Programming for Spike and oversees production of “Ink Master” and Kevin Bartel serves as the network’s Executive in Charge of Production.

Founded in 2002, Charlie Corwin’s Original Media has built a strong reputation for cutting-edge content and quality production. Original Media produces hundreds of hours of award-winning content across multiple media formats including Academy Award nominated feature films, reality television, scripted television and digital programming and currently has fifteen television series on air. Some of Original Media’s hit television series shows “NY Ink,” “LA Ink,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Swamp People,” “Storm Chasers,” “Dual Survival” and “BBQ Pitmasters.”  Original Media produced the Academy Award nominated films The Squid and the Whale and Half Nelson. The company, headquarters in New York, is a subsidiary of Endemol USA.

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

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Ink Master

In this hit tattoo competition reality series, some of the nation’s top tattoo artists battle it out in permanent ink for a $100,000 cash prize, an editorial feature in the preeminent tattoo magazine Inked and the title of ‘Ink Master.’

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About Viacom

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