El Rey Network will air two new unscripted series in the first half of 2017, network president and general manager Daniel Tibbets announced on Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour.
The first will be a television adaptation of the digital series “Man at Arms,” which is a co-production deal with DEFY Media.
The network has ordered eight original, one-hour episodes of the series, in which iconic weapons and armor are recreated by a team of expert craftsmen. Each piece is then tested by experts for its strength and real-world functionality.
The digital series, which recently celebrated its 100th episode, consistently averages over 1.5 million views per episode.
“Man at Arms” will be produced by DEFY, led by heads of television/OTT production and development Jared Hoffman and Chris Pollack, chief content officer Barry Blumberg, and El Rey Network. Hoffman and Pollack will also serve as series executive producers and showrunners.
The deal was brokered by David Sherman at WME.
The second series, “Rite of Passage,” features multi-award winning Australian producer, reporter and cameraman, Tim Noonan, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery as he tries to unlock what it means to be a man.
In this 12-part documentary series, Noonan seeks out communities in the world’s harshest locales, immersing himself in the culture, and participating in the rituals that define the transition to manhood.
“Rite of Passage” is produced by Seven Productions, a division of The Seven Network in Australia.
“As we expand our slate of original programming, we are looking for series that are reflective of the interests, hobbies and lives of our audience; content that’s driven by characters that are representative of how they live, work and play,” said Tibbets. “Both ‘Man at Arms’ and ‘Rite of Passage’ explore tradition, craft and ritual…and feature characters who are making their own paths, in addition to being wildly entertaining. These are all tenets that our viewers can relate to and enjoy.”
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