Esquire Network to take over Style! No, the launch of Esquire Network, which was originally suppose to happen in April, hasn’t been delayed again. Instead the new network is going to be a part of some organizational changes at NBCUniversal, one that involves rebranding Style Network as Esquire Network and keeping G4 in tact (at least for now). If you recall, G4 was originally going to be scrapped for the more modern men’s lifestyle network, instead on Sept. 23 Esquire Network will take over Style Network.
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment president Bonnie Hammer issued a statement to staff today detailing that organizational changes were needed to make their business the strongest possible force in an increasingly crowded media landscape. “One of the hallmarks of our success is brand clarity. Our goal has always been delivery of compelling content by means of distinct, complementary brands, each in its clearly defined lane. With Bravo, E! and Oxygen, we offer unique takes on popular culture for an ever-broadening audience, including the all-important female demo. In pursuit of that same demo, Style presents brand overlap within our portfolio,” Hammer says. “Esquire Network, on the other hand, offers an opportunity to introduce a lifestyle network that speaks to an upscale male audience under served in the current marketplace. So, in an effort to establish the most productively diversified portfolio, the decision has been made to rebrand Style as the Esquire Network, which will debut on September 23rd.”
Style’s more successful women’s focused programming will most likely be moving to other networks like E!, Oxygen and/or Bravo, although exact details have yet to be announced.
As for what to expect on Esquire Network, Esquire promises to offer programming that speaks to both classic and contemporary passions and interests, from technology and gadgets to fashion and style, food and drink, travel and adventure, women and relationships, and politics and talk.
To kick off the network’s launch is the debut of Esquire’s 80th on Monday, Sept. 23 from 9pm-11pm ET/PT, where some of the magazine’s most celebrated editors, writers and story subjects will celebrate the anniversary with a revealing look at the people, politics and pop culture that shaped our lives over the last eight decades suing magazine articles and images.
So far the network has divulged information on a few new series it plans to offer including Knife Fight (pictured left) premiering Sept. 24 (Tuesdays), which comes from executive producer Drew Barrymore. This is an underground, after-hours cooking competition (disappointing, I’m sure, to some who took the title literally). The show pits chefs against each other in front of a boisterous crowd filled with celebrities, critics and foodies.
Brew Dogs, premiering Sept. 24 at 10pm (Tuesdays) visits a different American beer town, calling attention to locally-inspired draft beers. Scottish “beer evangelists” James Watt and Martin Dickie own the UK’s fastest-growing brewery and serve as hosts/tour guides of sorts to these establishments.
Boundless, premiering Sept. 25 at 10pm ET (Wednesdays) follows two ultra athletes for five months in eight of the toughest endurance races in the world. With the globe as their playground, friends and fierce competitors Simon Donato and Paul ‘Turbo’ Trebilcock aim to prove that boundaries are meant to be broken. The docuseries chronicles both pain and triumph as Turbo and Simon climb, run and bike up anything they can find over five straight months of extreme challenges. Will they finish all eight races and make it through this ultimate test of mind, body and spirit?
The Getaway, premiering Sept. 25, comes from executive producer Anthony Bourdain, and tags along with travel-loving celebs as they explore the world’s most amazing cities. Each week a new celeb takes on a new city. The first season features Joel McHale in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Aziz Ansari in Hong Kong; Aisha Tyler in Paris; Grammy Award-winning performer-songwriter Eve in Kingston, Jamaica; acclaimed chef José Andrés in San Juan, Puerto Rico and more.
Photos: Knife Fight, pictured is Ilan Hall (Credit: Dylan Don/Esquire Network); The Getaway (Credit: 2013 Esquire Network Media, LLC)