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

Wednesday, May 18

The Goldbergs - "Adam Graduates!" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Graduation day is approaching and everyone, especially Adam, is ready – except for Beverly who is not coping well with the idea of an empty nest. Meanwhile, with Geoff’s encouragement, Erica decides to try out for Cyndi Lauper as a one-time backup singer replacement. Ultimately, resurrecting her singing dreams doesn’t manifest, but bigger and exciting new beginnings await her and the Goldbergs.

The Wonder Years - "Love, Dean" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It’s the end of the school year, and summer excitement is all around. When Bill and Lillian each receive major career opportunities, tension builds as they decide who will handle more of the household responsibilities. Meanwhile, Dean and Keisa take shelter together as a tornado tears through Montgomery, providing the perfect moment for Dean to tell her how he really feels.

The Conners - "A Judge and a Priest Walk Into a Living Room..." (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The Conners gear up for a megawedding! Jackie and Neville, Darlene and Ben, and Harris and Aldo are planning for a shared big day, but along the way they discover that some of the couples may not be on the same page about their happily ever afters. Meanwhile, Dan and the family have decked out the house for the occasion, but will all six of the lovebirds make it to “I do”?

Home Economics - "Ticket to Space, $1 Million" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Tom attempts to keep Connor grounded after he announces his plans to go to space then falls into a rough patch himself after learning some bad news. Meanwhile, Marina gets stuck while trying to transform their attic into a writing space for Tom.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - "Woman to Woman" (BET, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Christian wins Student of the Year, Laura gets him an autographed football jersey from a popular NFL player; Miranda takes umbrage with the gesture, citing the player's history of domestic violence.

Tyler Perry's Assisted Living - "Wobble Wobble" (BET, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The Pleasant Days crew is worried about Vinny's libertine lifestyle of drinking, smoking, poor diet and no exercise; he's not as young as he used to be, so they want him to clean up his act.

The Ms. Pat Show - "Girls Night Out" (BET, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After Pat catches Terry watching porn on his phone, Denise decides they need a girls' night out, while the children wonder if their parents are going to split up.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 16)

Wednesday, May 18

  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) and Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - John and Andy guest host Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) - Cheryl is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Rhea Seehorn (Whitney/I'm with Her) - Rhea appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (After Life/The Office) - Ricky unpacks his new comedy special SuperNature on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary) - Quinta returns to talk about the hit ABC series Abbott Elementary on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sydney to the Max/Sabrina the Teenage Witch) - Caroline guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rose Mclver (Ghosts/Woke) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ghosts/White Famous/The Mindy Project) - Rose and Utkarsh are guests on CBS Mornings sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - NBC's Today catches up with Mario in the 9am hour.
  • Hilary Duff (How I Met Your Father/Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - NBC's Today catches up with Hilary in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February-May)

ALT= Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release) Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)

02/08 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Ninth Season
02/22 - Everybody Hates Chris - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
02/22 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Eight
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/15 - Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season
03/15 - The Proud Family - The Complete Original Series - Anniversary Collection
03/22 - The Honeymooners Specials - The Complete Collection
03/29 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/29 - Young Rock - Season One
04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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