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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 15

The Simpsons - "Bobby: It's Cold Outside" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sideshow Bob gets contracted as the mall Santa; someone steals all the Christmas packages off people's front porches.

Bless the Harts - "Miracle on Culpepper Slims Boulevard" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Louise invites the Harts and Brenda to her annual Christmas party in lieu of a bonus, the extravagance makes Jenny feel insecure; Betty tries to figure out how to give the family the best Christmas presents on a budget.

Bob's Burgers - "Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Linda works a temp job at the post office to make extra money for the holidays; Bob and Tina get trapped at home with Linda's fussy family; Gene and Louise scramble to find the perfect gift for Tina.

Family Guy - "Christmas Is Coming" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Meg has a surprising response after she takes Stewie to the mall to meet Santa; Brian must help Stewie process the experience.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 9)

Friday, December 13

  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Watch Ana on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Rudd (Living with Yourself/Wild Oats) - Paul appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Danny DeVito (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Taxi) - Danny is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin visits The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Craig Bierko (Madman of the People/Pride & Joy/Sydney) - Craig talks about Harry Townsend’s Last Stand on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen (The Brady Bunch) - The Cast of The Brady Bunch talk about HGTV's A Very Brady Holiday on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

Life with Lucy - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season

10/08 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series
10/08 - Life with Lucy - The Complete Series
10/15 - Mom - The Complete Sixth Season
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 1
10/16 - Our Miss Brooks - Season 1 - Volume 2
11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
11/18 - The Guest Book - Season Two
11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
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