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In its bid to lure the “evolved man,” the upcoming Esquire Network continues to bulk up on its offerings.
Among the additions are repeats of USA network dramas Psych and Burn Notice as well as new entry American Field Trip featuring photojournalist Matt Hranek. The orders come some three weeks ahead of the former G4 cable network’s April 22 launch. The trio joins a mix of originals and off-net repeats, including chef competition series Knife Fight, celebrity-fronted travel series The Getaway, Parks and Recreation and Party Down.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network is being peddled to Madison Avenue buyers as an opportunity to reach a more mature, upscale male demographic. The pitch suggests that the net fills a void left by more testosterone-heavy men’s nets such as Spike and History. Much like the magazine for which it’s affiliated, Esquire will focus on a host of different genres, from politics and fashion to food to beer.
STORY: G4 to be Rebranded the Esquire Network, Adds Party Down, Parks and Recreation to Slate
American Field Trip, a working title, is expected to launch later this summer. The half-hour series will center on Hranek, who hits the road to uncover off-the-beaten-path people and experiences around the country. Each of the six episodes ordered will feature Hranek in a new location seeking out one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, artisans and experiences.
Joining the series on the net’s summer schedule: long-running G4/NBC competition series American Ninja Warrior, lifestyle -themed How I Rock It and a New York real estate effort Risky Listings. The Esquire network intends to launch about five unscripted originals in the fall, too, with at least 10 to 12 originals slated for 2013. (At launch, the only originals will be Knife Fight and The Getaway.)
For their part, Burn Notice and Psych will launch with the new net in late April. The former will air as a 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. weekday strip, while the latter is set to air Friday nights in primetime. Though the network’s executive team led by Adam Stotsky has aspirations of one day being 100 percent dependent on originals, for now it is relying on movies (think James Bond) and a catalog of like-minded series from other NBCU cable networks as well as NBC with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The latter will air in the 7 p.m. nightly slot, and will feature episodes one week after they premiere on corporate cousin NBC.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose
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