Esquire Network today announced four original series in development for 2015 targeting, the NBCU lifestyle and entertainment cable net said, the “upscale, educated young man.” That includes the next iteration of its controversial Friday Night Tykes franchise, another series in which children provide the content, and an American Ninja Warrior spinoff. The network, a unit of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, is closing on its most watched quarter since its launch in September of 2013.

Esquire Network’s slate new series in development include:


WINNER’S CIRCLE (working title)
Produced by SpringHill Productions in association with Magical Elves with LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz as Executive Producers.

From executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter comes a series that will take viewers on the most epic sporting weekend of their lives. Two celebrity friends take on the comedic host role, exploring the parties, fan culture, local highlights and behind-the-scenes access at the biggest sporting events of the year. Throughout the series the hosts hit up major events such as The Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, Masters, X Games and NBA All-Star Weekend. Just to name a few.

Produced by 441 productions

The Friday Night Tykes franchise next turns its lens on one of the great football hotbeds of America; Western Pennsylvania. This spin-off will focus on Beaver County, home of Mike Ditka and Joe Namath, where youth football is not a pastime, but a birthright, and young kids feel intense pressure to be superstars, not just from parents and coaches, but their entire communities.

TEAM NINJA WARRIOR (working title)
Produced by A. Smith with Arthur Smith and Kent Weed L. as Executive Producers. Based on the American Ninja Warrior format from Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc.

This series puts a whole new spin on the American Ninja Warrior competition.  For the first time ever, ninjas will form teams and race head to head through the world’s toughest obstacle course. And, the stakes are raised in the final match up of each episode with a ‘relay’ element, as ninjas race through one section of the course, then tag a teammate who continues through the next section. It’ll be an all-out sprint to the finish, creating a new level of pressure for the competitors.

EDUCATING AMERICA (working title)
Produced by TwoFour America with David Clews and Andrew MacKenzie as Executive Producers

Based on the critically acclaimed, BAFTA Award-winning UK project Educating Britain, this fascinating documentary series explores what really happens inside American schools. With unprecedented access, from the classrooms, to the cafeterias, from the principal’s office, to detention, Educating America will capture the true experiences of both staff and students as they navigate life in high school.