It has been rumored for months, but now it is a done deal: NBCUniversal will rebrand its G4 cable channel as “The Esquire Network” in partnership with Hearst magazines. The new channel will launch in April, and will expand beyond G4′s gaming and technology focus to include programming that will appeal to broader range of male viewers.
The goal, the company says, is to create a network “aimed at the full, multi-faceted lives of today’s modern men.”
Some programming will remain, like “American Ninja Warrior,” which has broken out on NBC as well as G4, but most programming will be new and original. Among the shows in development are a cooking competition show “Knife Fight” from producer Drew Barrymore, and “The Getaway,” a travel show from producer Anthony Bourdain, which will see well-known people take viewers to their favorite city on the planet. The network has also acquired rights to comedies “Parks & Recreation” and “Party Down.”
“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,” said the channel’s GM, Adam Stotsky, in a statement. “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.”
More information, below.