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

Monday, January 17

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Knockout" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Dave nears his 40th birthday, Calvin offers to coach his friend for an amateur boxing tournament. Also, sparks fly when Marty meets a new woman at the gym.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Cats in a Bathtub" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Bob accidentally reveals Morenike is gay, Abishola and Kemi are forced to defend her against their church, and even their own families. Also, Douglas comes clean to Olivia about not being poor.

Kenan - "Hustle and Flow" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Kenan and Aubrey clash when he refuses to see that she's growing up; while Gary pursues a controversial revenue stream on social media, Mika, Tami and Pam are inspired to show him the downside.

Kenan - "Dating App" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
With Gary's help, Kenan signs up for a dating app that he might not be ready for while Rick has an interesting date of his own; Mika and Pam strategize to help Tami when she is caught in an unflattering situation by a tabloid photographer.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 17)

Monday, January 17

  • Daveed Diggs (Central Park/black-ish) - Watch Daveed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. He also talks about Snowpiercer on CBS Mornings sometime between 7-9am.
  • Aidy Bryant (Shrill) - Aidy appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • John Early (The Afterparty/Search Party) - John is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenifer Lewis (black-ish/The PJs) - Jenifer will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Ricky Gervais (After Life/The Office) - Ricky talks about the third season of After Party on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) and Finesse Mitchell (Outmatched/A.N.T. Farm) - Kym and Finesse guest host The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary/Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl talks about Abbott Elementary on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Fortune Feimster (Kenan/Bless the Harts/Sunnyside/Champions) - Fortune is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael talks about his trip into space on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) and Randall Park Fresh Off the Boat/Veep) - Ed and Randall talk about Peacock's True Story with Ed and Randall on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Hilary Duff (How I Met Your Father/Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hilary talks about How I Met Your Father on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa talks about Netflix's Brazen on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October-January)

Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Mom - The Eighth and Final Season Punky Brewster (1984-88) - The Complete Series (2021 Release) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - The Honeymooners Specials - A Christmas Carol
11/02 - Mom - The Eighth and Final Season
11/02 - Punky Brewster - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - Sex and the City - The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
11/09 - Saved by the Bell (2020) - Season One
11/09 - Younger - The Complete Series
11/16 - Kevin Can F*** Himself - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
11/23 - Dead Pixels - Seasons One and Two
11/30 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (2021 Release) (Blu-ray)
12/07 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/07 - Rick & Morty - Season 5 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook)
12/14 - The Abbott and Costello Show - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
12/14 - Letterkenny - Season 9
01/04 - Work in Progress - Season 2
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