The Esquire Network will be bowing later than anticipated.
Rather than flip the switch on the G4 network April 22 as initially planned, the NBCUniversal cable rebrand is now slated for summer. The move will allow the Esquire net to come out of the gate with five original series, including holdover American Ninja Warrior, as opposed to simply two original offerings.
"We have an opportunity to launch with more original programming than we had envisioned. In order to give our viewers a more substantial program offering that showcases the breadth of the Esquire Network, we are pushing our rebrand to the summer," said Esquire Network general manager Adam Stotsky in a statement. Current G4 scheduling is expected to continue through the rebrand. A specific date has not yet been set.
When it does launch this summer, Esquire will serve up underground, after-hours cooking competition series Knife Fight and Anthony Bourdain's celebrity-fronted travel series The Getaway from, which were previously slated for late April, as well as lifestyle series How I Rock It, American Field Trip featuring blogger/photojournalist Matt Hranek and a fifth season of competition entry American Ninja Warrior.
Joining the originals will be off-net repeats of on-brand shows including Psych, Burn Notice, Party Down, Parks and Recreation and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. There are many more unscripted entries are in development, too, as Stotsky and his team inch closer to their long-term plan of one day being 100 percent dependent on originals.
Though not yet on the air, Esquire is currently being peddled to Madison Avenue buyers well as Hollywood producers as an opportunity to reach a more mature, upscale and affluent male demographic -- or in Esquire parlance, the "modern man." The pitch suggests that the network will fill a void left by more tough-minded, testosterone-heavy men's networks such as Spike and History. Much like the magazine with which it's affiliated, Esquire will focus on a host of different genres, from politics and fashion to food to beer.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose