U.S. cable net G4 is rebranding as the Esquire Network, a joint venture between NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines.
The network, set to launch in 62 million homes in the U.S. on April 22, will be helmed by general manager Adam Stotsky, and aims to be “the only television network aimed at the full, multi-faceted lives of today’s modern men,” according to the press announcement unveiling the rebranding.
Stotsky headed up G4 as general manager, and was previously the president of marketing for NBC Entertainment. He will work with David Granger, editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine, to develop the brand.
The network takes its name from the esteemed 80-year-old men’s publication and will feature a blend of male-skewing unscripted and scripted series as well as movies and specials. Unscripted projects on its development slate include Knife Fight, an after-hours, underground cooking competition hosted by Top Chef winner Ilan Hall that sees chefs go head-to-head in front of a rowdy crowd of celebs, exec produced by Drew Barrymore, her Flower Films shingle and Authentic Entertainment; and The Getaway (w/t), exec produced by Anthony Bourdain and Zero Point Zero, which will tag along as travel-loving celebrities take viewers to their favorite cities for a tour of where to eat, drink, shop and carouse.
Other programming notes include the return of American Ninja Warrior for a fifth season, to air on the Esquire Network and NBC this summer, and repeats of the critically acclaimed NBC series Parks and Recreation and Starz’s 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,” Stotsky said in the 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.”
“Creating smart, entertaining programming for the high-normal American man fills a void in the cable universe,” added Granger. “We at Esquire work hard to challenge and inspire and entertain our audience across all our print and digital expressions, and the new Esquire Network is finding new and ambitious ways to take that mission to television.”
Additional programming announcements will be made in the weeks ahead. As for multi-platform plans, full episodes will be made available via TV Everywhere and VoD, and the network will also feature original web series on its website that will be integrated with the net’s brand and programming.