The Esquire Network: It's a guy thing
The Esquire Network was supposed to launch Monday, replacing G4, a little-viewed channel aimed at video-game enthusiasts. But earlier this week, the launch was postponed until summer to create more original programming. When it premieres, the new network will aim to attract male viewers by bringing the sensibility of the venerable men's magazine to TV.
Nearly a quarter-century ago, the magazine tried its hand at TV with "Esquire: About Men, for Women," a weekly newsmagazine on Lifetime, then as now a channel aimed at female viewers. The show ostensibly enlightened women about what made men tick, filtered through the sensibility of the "venerable" magazine.
Here are five things about that show:
1. It debuted on May 6, 1989, and aired 26 episodes before leaving the air in 1990.
2. The first host was a little-known TV personality named Matt Lauer. "We'll meet men at work and at play," he said in the debut. "They'll share their emotions and reveal their secrets. Sometimes we'll surprise you. Sometimes we'll confirm your worst suspicions. We'll even explode some myths."
3. Newsday TV critic David Friedman described the pre-"Today" Lauer: "He is the perfect 'Esquire' man: He's handsome, well spoken, handsome, well groomed, handsome, well dressed, handsome, well paid and -- have I mentioned this before? -- incredibly handsome."
4. Lauer was replaced for the second season by Guy Martin, an editor at the magazine.
5. The show was divided into four segments, "Conversations" (in which guys sat around and talked about manly subjects, like baseball); "Documentary" (in which guys sat around and "shared feelings"); "Byline" (a satirical look at men); and "Celebrity Interviews" (conducted by, of all people, Ali MacGraw).