Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WGN America and Esquire Network Acquire Parks and Recreation for September 2013; G4 Rebrands as Esquire Network

Parks and Recreation

National cable network WGN America has acquired the off-network rights to the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation and will begin airing it this September, 2013. The sitcom has not been cleared for local broadcast syndication and was being pitched for Fall 2014 at NATPE. So the series will likely premiere on cable first in syndication rather than the normal local broadcast five-days-a-week syndication. The comedy has more than enough episodes for syndication but NBCUniversal is likely going more after a SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) play. The series is currently airing in its fifth season and by this fall it will have 90 episodes in the can, which is just enough for syndication and weekday play. The series has not yet been renewed for a sixth season on NBC, but with NBC losing The Office and 30 Rock after this season, it is more than likely Parks will be back. It is unclear how WGN America will schedule the series, but currently WGN America airs comedies 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rules of Engagement, How I Met Your Mother, Old Christine, Futurama and Scrubs. WGN America will not have exclusive cable rights like usual, as all of those series above can also be found elsewhere. WGN America will share the cable rights for Parks and Recreation with G4, but more on that below (including a name change for G4).

From Emmy Award-winning executive producers Greg Daniels (NBC's The Office, King of the Hill) and Michael Schur (NBC's The Office, Saturday Night Live), Parks and Recreation is a hilarious ensemble comedy that follows Leslie Knope (Emmy nominee Poehler, NBC's Saturday Night Live) a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana, and her tireless efforts to make her quintessentially American town just a little bit more fun. The series also stars Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Chris Prat, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe.


We haven't talked about this yet, but the G4 network will be rebranding again and this time the new name will be the Esquire Network (yep, like the magazine). And they will also air off-network cable runs of Parks and Recreation this fall. Beginning April 22, 2013, the G4 network will be rebranded the Esquire Network. The network is a strategic partnership between NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines to create the only television network aimed at the full, multi-faceted lives of today's modern men. Esquire Network will expand on G4's foundation of games, gear and gadgets to reflect the broad range of interests, passions and aspirations that define men today. Appealing to men's intelligence as well as their sense of adventure, Esquire Network's programming will capture the classic voice, impeccable style and unmistakable wit that have come to define Esquire, the original men's magazine and premier authority on contemporary man. Diverse program categories and genres will feature not only gaming and technology, but also entertainment, food, fashion, women, humor, travel, competition, danger and more.

The network will feature a blend of unscripted and scripted series, and movies and specials that appeal to today's man. Partnering with the industry's top producers and talent, the Esquire Network team is developing a slate of engaging all-new original series such as Knife Fight, a passionate celebration of food, executive produced by Drew Barrymore, Flower Films and Authentic Entertainment. Hosted by "Top Chef" winner Ilan Hall, Knife Fight is an underground, after-hours cooking competition where talented chefs go head to head in front of a rowdy crowd of celebrities, critics and die-hard foodies. Another original series, The Getaway (working title), is executive produced by Anthony Bourdain and Zero Point Zero and features travel-loving, well known personalities - people deservedly famous for excellence in their fields - who take viewers to their favorite city on the planet, giving the insiders' track on their top spots to eat, drink, shop and hang out.

Fan favorite competition series American Ninja Warrior will return for its fifth season, to air this summer on Esquire Network and NBC. Additionally, Esquire Network will complement its slate of original programming with ambitious and witty scripted series that include reruns of NBC's Emmy-nominated comedy, Parks and Recreation, and the critically acclaimed series from STARZ, Party Down, which aired in 2009-10. Additional programming announcements will be made in the coming weeks. We hope we have some more comedies to go along with Parks and Recreation and Party Down. Stay with us!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, July 25

The Middle - "Clear and Present Danger" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Frankie frantically searches the house for Axl’s graduation gift, which she bought months before and hid; Sue decides that she wants to make a sweet video for Mike’s upcoming birthday – even though the family warns her that he probably won’t like it; and after Cindy embarrasses Brick by strong-arming and chasing away a boy who was bullying him, Brick turns to Axl to help get him into shape so that he can stick up for himself.

Fresh Off the Boat - "The Flush" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis excitedly plans a guys’ weekend for he and Eddie, but is disappointed when he invites his buddies over for a sleepover instead. Unbeknownst to Louis, Eddie and his friends were hiding out in his room, trying beer for the first time. So when Eddie has an adverse reaction to alcohol, also known as the Asian Flush, Louis reassures his eldest son that the discomfort will pass and reminisces about his college drinking days. Meanwhile, Jessica, Emery, Evan and Honey go on a road trip to Georgia in search of “The Big Peanut” and to save a few dollars on a piece of furniture.

black-ish - "Their Eyes Were Watching Screens" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Diane stumbles onto some websites that give her more than she bargained for, Dre and Bow must take action. Concerned that the internet is corrupting their children, Dre and Bow decide to make their home an internet free-zone and deal with the backlash.

black-ish - "VIP" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dre decides to take his family to Walt Disney World on the magical, first-class vacation experience he was never able to have as a kid. With the help of a VIP tour guide, Dre and the kids take full advantage of their VIP status. Meanwhile, Bow, Pops and Ruby set off on their own adventure at Walt Disney World.

The Mick - "The Heater" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mickey and Alba go on a gambling binge. In Mickey’s absence, Jimmy, Sabrina and Chip fight for control of the house, while one of them must watch over Ben.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Mr. Santiago" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
At Amy’s intricately planned Thanksgiving dinner, Jake goes “full Santiago” (binder and all) in order to impress her father (guest star Jimmy Smits), a former cop. With Jake and Amy’s focus elsewhere, Charles is left on turkey duty and Holt helps Pimento cope after learning he can no longer work for the NYPD.

Wrecked - "Sister Mercy" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
After discovering the pirate's plan to harvest their organs, the survivors try to escape the island; Karen makes a difficult decision that echoes a moment from her past.

Still the King - "Flatbushes" (CMT, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Vernon's hometown honors him with a statue of his likeness and Vernon doesn't approve how it looks; Vernon recruits Walt, Charlotte and Doily to ``fix'' the statue.

Still the King - "Showcase Showdown" (CMT, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Vernon readies his band for a big gig he doesn't have booked yet.

In The Cut - "Blast From the Past" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay hires an efficiency expert to improve the business; Smitty sees fire when Mable's old flame, Charles, reappears.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 24)

Tuesday, July 25

  • Tiffany Haddish (The Carmichael Show) - Catch Tiffany on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) - Edie visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Alec appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to The Captain/Gary Unmarried) - Al is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey talks about The Last Tycoon on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Debi Mazar (Younger/Entourage/Working) - Debi appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Zach Braff (Scrubs) - Zach is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella explains her obsession with Disney star Dove Cameron on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Andrea Savage (I'm Sorry/The Hotwives/Significant Others) - Andrea talks about truTV's I'm Sorry on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Alisan Porter (Chicken Soup) - Alisan appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico and Sara Haines discuss sexuality with young adults, including what it means to be bisexual and the stereotypes and myths surrounding it, on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.