Esquire preps “Friday Night Tykes,” “Ninja Warrior” spin-offs

The U.S. cable net has put four series into development, including a sports show from exec producer LeBron James and spin-offs of Friday Night Tykes (pictured) and American Ninja Warrior.
May 8, 2015

UPDATE – 5/13/2015: Production company information for Friday Night Tykes was incomplete in the original article, and has been updated.

Esquire Network has put four series into development, including a sports show from executive producer LeBron James and spin-offs of Friday Night Tykes and American Ninja Warrior.

Produced by Magical Elves, Winner’s Circle (working title) follows two celebrity friends-turned-hosts as they go behind the scenes to suss out the parties and fan culture behind major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby.

NBA superstar James is exec producing with his manager Maverick Carter and Magical Elves’ Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable net is also working on a Friday Night Tykes spin-off, Friday Night Tykes: Western, PA (working title) with 441 Productions and Texas Crew Productions. The series will head to Pennsylvania to film the youth football league in Beaver County.

A. Smith & Co. is producing an American Ninja Warrior spin-off for Esquire called Team Ninja Warrior (working title). In the series, the ninjas will form teams to compete in obstacle course relay races. Arthur Smith and Kent Weed are exec producing.

Lastly, TwoFour America is producing a U.S. version of its Educating Britain documentary format called Educating America  and (working title). The series will take viewers inside American schools and cover all aspects of student life, from the cafeteria to the classroom and detention. David Clews and Andrew Mackenzie are executive producing.

In March, Esquire announced five series as part of its 2015 upfront presentation including United States of Burgers and Going Deep with David Rees.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.