Donnie Wahlberg has been signed to star opposite John Leguizamo in Spike TV's new fast-paced, thrilling original scripted eight-hour dramatic event The Kill Pit. Additionally, acclaimed director Steve Shill (The Sopranos, The Wire, Rome and the upcoming series The Tudors) has joined the production to direct the first four hours. Written by James DeMonaco (The Negotiator, Assault on Precinct 13) and executive produced by David Hoberman (Monk, Bringing Down the House), Todd Lieberman (Eight Below, Bringing Down the House) and DeMonaco, the series follows a bank heist that goes terribly awry and the hostage negotiations that ensue. The Kill Pit is produced by Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, in association with Mandeville.

Donnie Wahlberg has an impressive background that spans the worlds of music, film and television. He has transformed himself from a teen pop sensation to a noteworthy dramatic film actor and critically-acclaimed television star. Wahlberg most recently co-starred with Harvey Keitel in ABC's special event mini-series Path to 9/11 and starred in the CW series Runaway. Other television credits include the critically-acclaimed NBC drama series Boomtown, and the award-winning HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, in which he portrayed real-life WWII hero Lt. C. Carwood Lipton. Wahlberg can next be seen in the original A&E film, Kings of South Beach. His motion picture credits include his pivotal role in The Sixth Sense as a psychotic former patient of Bruce Willis. He also co-starred in Mel Gibson's kidnapping thriller Ransom, directed by Ron Howard. Wahlberg has also starred in the films Southie, Saw II and Disney's Annapolis.

"Donnie is an incredibly versatile actor with a tremendous amount of soul," says Pancho Mansfield, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Spike TV. "He is a great addition to the show and we know that his character will resonate with our male viewers."

The Kill Pit revolves around a downtown bank robbery by a team of American Iraqi-War veterans. More than a dozen hostages from all walks of life are taken, ranging from the daughter of a business tycoon to an adulterous couple. Throughout the eight-hour event, viewers will follow the escalating action as the volatile soldiers plot their way out, the negotiator anticipates their moves and the hostages desperately try to survive. Time is critical and the game intensifies with surprising twists at every turn.

The Kill Pit will be filmed on locations in and around Pittsburgh and is slated to go into production during the first quarter of this year for a summer 2007 premiere. Bill McGoldrick is Spike TV's Executive in Charge of Production.