Esquire Network Gets September Launch Date
The network currently known as G4 will flip the switch Sept. 23, timed to coincide with the magazine's 80th anniversary.
The Esquire Network will make its debut in September.
Rather than the late April launch date initially planned for the upscale mens’ lifestyle network, Esquire now is set to bow Monday, Sept. 23, and will kick off with a two-hour special that commemorates Esquire magazine’s 80th anniversary. The latter, which will be timed to coincide with the October debut of the magazine’s anniversary issue, will look back at the social, political and cultural forces that shaped our lives over the past eight decades, told through the lens of the magazine.
“As Esquire magazine reaches such a significant milestone, it only seems fitting that Esquire Network kick off by celebrating the rich legacy of this iconic brand. And we will build on this unparalleled 80-year history with a new primetime lineup featuring compelling original programming that hits on the wide-ranging interests, aspirations and passions of men today,” said the cable network’s GM Adam Stotsky in a statement announcing the news Wednesday.
Although not yet on the air, Esquire is being peddled to Madison Avenue buyers and Hollywood producers as an opportunity to reach a more mature, upscale and affluent male demographic -- or, in Esquire parlance, the "modern man." The pitch suggests that the NBCUniversal-owned cable network will fill a void left by more tough-minded, testosterone-heavy men's networks such as Spike and History. Much like the magazine, Esquire will focus on a host of different genres, from politics and fashion to food to beer.
At launch time, Esquire will roll out the underground, after-hours cooking competition series Knife Fight and Anthony Bourdain's celebrity-fronted travel series The Getaway, both of which were slated for late April. Also forthcoming: lifestyle series How I Rock It, hosted by Baron Davis, American Field Trip featuring blogger/photojournalist Matt Hranek and New York real estate docuseries Risky Listing.
Additionally, Esquire has announced two new series in production, the tentatively titled Brew Dogs and Horse Players. The former will feature Scottish "beer evangelists" James Watt and Martin Dickie, who own the U.K.'s fastest-growing brewery, as they travel across America from beer town to beer town to prove that the drink of the masses doesn't need to taste mass produced. For its part, the hourlong Horse Players will take place in the world of professional horse race handicapping. Each of the series' seven episodes will follow a group of handicappers as it travels the country in search of instant riches -- and compete for the title of America's top handicapper.
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Joining the network's originals will be off-net repeats of on-brand shows including Psych, Burn Notice, Party Down, Parks and Recreation and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. There are many more unscripted entries are in development, too, as Stotsky and his team inch closer to their long-term plan of one day being 100 percent dependent on originals.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose