Move over, "Ninja Warrior." Stand aside, "Attack of the Show."
According to Variety, the now-defunct G4 network is set for a major rebranding as the "Esquire Network," moving from coverage of video games and gadgets to... tuxedos and fancier gadgets, I guess, turning it into "an upscale Bravo for men."
Bonnie Hammer, the NBCU executive who recently took over the Bravo network itself, is overseeing the G4 overhaul. "Realistically, guys who are into gaming are not necessarily watching television," she said. "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."
However, the project is reportedly not a joint effort between NBCU and the established upscale men's magazine, although David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, the publisher of Esquire, said, "We have a strong interest in this succeeding."
"It’s a funny thing about magazines," he continued. "The population of people who know and respect and see a particular magazine brand as an authority is usually much bigger than the audience of the actual magazine. I believe NBC saw the opportunity that the built-in awareness and respect for Esquire was multiples of the actual magazine audience."
Hammer and NBC see the sophisticated, educated male viewer as not being served by today's crop of cable channels that target that demographic such as Discovery and Spike TV. "Much of today’s programming targets men in a one-dimensional way," Adam Stotsky, general manager of the new network said. In place of what he dubbed "down-market shows" about "tattoos or pawn shops or storage lockers or axes or hillbillies" will be refocused to "the modern man, what being a man today is all about."
Already planned for the programming slate are two reality series, including "Knife Fight," a series which revolves around 'after-hours cook-offs' between young chefs. Joining it is a travel program featuring celebrities entitled "The Getaway," as well as syndicated reruns of Starz' "Party Down" and NBC's "Parks And Recreation."
The new face of the cable network will make its debut on April 22nd. What do you think of this male-oriented makeover? Too niche?