Beginning April 22, the cable universe will include a new network, as an existing network will be rebranded. Deadline.com reports that NBCUniversal will officially rebrand the current G4 network as the Esquire Network, as in Esquire magazine, the venerable American institution that first appeared on newsstands in 1933.
The move is the result of a partnership between NBCU and Hearst Magazines aimed at creating a cable channel for upscale males.
“Owned and operated by NBCU, Esquire Network will be helmed by G4 General Manager Adam Stotsky, who will work closely with David Granger, Editor in Chief of Esquire magazine, to develop the brand,” the piece reports. “G4′s flagship competition series ‘American Ninja Warrior’ will return for its fifth season, to air this summer on Esquire Network and NBC. Additionally, Esquire Network will air an array of off-network scripted series, including NBC’s ‘Parks and Recreation’ and Starz’s ‘Party Down,’ both starring Adam Scott.”
The new network will expand on G4’s current emphasis on games, gear and gadgets, the piece notes. “Program categories and genres will feature not only gaming and technology but also entertainment, food, fashion, women, humor, travel, competition, danger and more."
Esquire magazine has a wonderful history of being at various times on the cutting edge of culture. For example, back in the early 1960s, Esquire was on the forefront of the New Journalism movement, as it published such articles as Tom Wolfe’s "There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored (Thphhhhhh!) Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (Rahghhh!) Around the Bend (Brummmmmmmmmmmmmmm)…" The story was about about custom hot rod cars that were being built in California.
The Esquire network’s unscripted projects in development include ‘Knife Fight,’ executive produced by Drew Barrymore, Flower Films and Authentic Entertainment. Hosted by ‘Top Chef’ winner Ilan Hall, ‘Knife Fight’ is an underground, after-hours cooking competition where talented chefs go head-to-head in front of a rowdy crowd of celebrities, critics and die-hard foodies.”
Also on tap is “The Getaway” (working title), executive produced by Anthony Bourdain and Zero Point Zero. The series “features travel-loving, well-known personalities — people deservedly famous for excellence in their fields — who take viewers to their favorite city on the planet, giving the insiders’ track on their top spots to eat, drink, shop and hang out,” the piece reports.
Said G4’s Stotsky: “There is a vastly under-served audience in cable TV — today’s modern man — and by joining forces with Esquire, we will deliver a multi-platform experience to this upscale, engaged, passionate audience, one that widens the aperture beyond G4’s technology and gaming base. Esquire magazine brings 80 years of unparalleled insight into what makes men tick, and we will incorporate the best of this iconic brand to produce original shows that build the network for growth and success.”