After a delay of several months, NBCUniversal has rolled out plans for the launch of a new cable channel. Deadline.com reports that Esquire Network will launch Sept. 23.
Originally set to launch April 22, the channel was held back for what was reported as an effort to get more original programming ready. Now the channel will bow with a two-hour special commemorating Esquire magazine’s 80th anniversary.
NBCU and Hearst first announced the channel back in February, as previously reported. The company has unveiled a lineup of original programming that will be in the mix with off-net programs including “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Party Down,” “Burn Notice” and “Psych.”
In making the announcement, Esquire Network general manager Adam Stotsky said: “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 prime-time lineup featuring compelling original programming that hits on the wide-ranging interests, aspirations and passions of men today.”
The company said in its release: “The 80th anniversary special joins a growing pipeline of original programming, including previously announced series ‘Knife Fight,’ an underground cooking competition hosted by Ilan Hall; ‘The Getaway,’ exploring the world’s most amazing cities through the eyes of a revolving cast of travel-loving celebs; ‘How I Rock It,’ a look at style in all its forms, hosted by NBA superstar Baron Davis; ‘Risky Listing,’ a docuseries set in the exclusive, intensely competitive world of New York nightlife real estate; and ‘American Field Trip’ (working title), a trip across the country with photojournalist Matt Hranek, in search of people, places and objects that embody the timeless American spirit.”
The company also announced two new series, “Brew Dogs” (working title) and “Horse Players.”
“For ‘Brew Dogs,’ produced by Custom Productions and Redtail Media, Scottish ‘beer evangelists’ James Watt and Martin Dickie travel across America with a vital mission: to prove that the drink of the masses doesn’t need to taste mass-produced,” the company said. “In each episode of the 6×60 series, James and Martin, who own the UK’s fastest-growing brewery, visit a different American beer town, celebrate distinctive craft beers and create their own locally inspired draft.”
“Horse Players” is a 7×60 series produced by Go Go Luckey for Esquire Network that, according to the company release, “takes place in the high-stakes world of professional horse race handicapping, where the only thing bigger than the bets are the characters placing them. From Churchill Downs to Saratoga to Santa Anita, each episode follows a group of handicappers as they travel the country in search of instant riches — and compete for the title of America’s top handicapper.”