×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Esquire Network Greenlights First Original Scripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Esquire Network is getting into the scripted game.

NBCUniversal’s male-skewing network has ordered 10 episodes of the dark drama “Spotless,” set to premiere this fall, Variety has learned exclusively.

The project hails from Tandem productions for Canal Plus and marks the first-ever scripted series for Esquire, which is home to unscripted properties “Knife Fight,” “Brew Dogs” and “Friday Night Tykes.” Ed McCardie (“Shameless”) and Corinne Marrinan (“CSI”) are co-creators, and Rola Bauer (“The Pillars of the Earth,” “Crossing Lines”) will serve as exec producer, alongside Jonas Bauer and Suzanne Berger.

Marc-André Grondin (“C.R.A.Z.Y.”), Denis Ménochet (“Inglorious Basterds”), Miranda Raison (“24: Live Another Day”) and Brendan Coyle (“Downton Abbey”) will star in the series.

Spotless,” set in London, follows a troubled man, Jean Bastiere (Grondin), whose life is turned upside down when his outlaw brother, Martin (Ménochet), crashlands into his world. Together, the brothers must confront their dark sins of the past and real dangers of the present: They’re trapped by mob boss Nelson Clay (Coyle) while corruption, drugs and death pose a constant hazard. Along with Jean’s wife Julie (Raison), the entire family struggles to gain control over their lives in the hourlong drama, described as sexy with dark humor.

“Continuing our pursuit to offer the highest quality programming, Esquire Network is excited to embark on its first scripted series and to partner with the talented team at Tandem Productions,” said Matt Hanna, head of original programming, Esquire Network. “‘Spotless’ is a genre-bending drama offering a tonality that’s unique to the current television landscape. Perfectly on point for our discerning male audience, it promises to take them on a twisted dark ride.”

Rola Bauer, CEO and partner of Tandem Productions, and exec producer, commented: “Esquire Network is the perfect home for ‘Spotless.’ Our daring, audacious and distinctive new series belongs with this network, which has been equally daring and audacious. The tremendous growth with their target audience is a testament to their strategic focus and strength in the U.S. market.”

“Spotless” is a Canal Plus Création Originale, the production banner under Canal Plus, France’s premium cable channel. Worldwide distribution will be handled by Studiocanal. Emmy-winning Eve Stewart (“The King’s Speech,” “Les Miserables”) will serve as the production designer on the series.

Wednesday, Esquire Network also announced four unscripted series in development:

“Winner’s Circle,” from exec producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter, follows two celebrity friends each episode exploring the parties, fan culture, local highlights and behind-the-scenes access at the biggest sporting events of the year including the Kentucky Derby and Super Bowl. SpringHill Productions and Magical Elves will produce with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz exec producing with James and Carter.

Friday Night Tykes: Western, PA,” a spinoff to Esquire Network’s original series, hailing from 441 productions, this time set in Beaver County, home of Mike Ditka and Joe Namath.

“Team Ninja Warrior,” based on “America Ninja Warrior, which currently airs on Esquire and NBC, the “ninjas” (contestants) will form teams and race through the world’s toughest obstacle course, ultimately ending with a relay element each episode. The series is produced by A. Smith with Arthur Smith and Kent Weed L. as exec producers.

“Educating America,” based on the U.K. project “Educating Britain,” the docu-series produced by TwoFour America with exec producers David Clews and Andrew MacKenzie explores what really happens inside American schools.

Esquire is the latest NBC cable network to jump into scripted programming, following sister nets E! and Bravo, which shifted into the landscape with “The Royals” and “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” respectively. Bravo has its second scripted series “Odd Mom Out” premiering this summer, while E! just ordered a drama pilot for “The Arrangement.” Syfy is taking on a “Brave New World” miniseries, and USA is gearing up for the premieres of new dramas “Complications” and “Mr. Robot” in June. Meanwhile, NBC-owned Chiller just announced its first original scripted drama, “Slasher.”

More TV

  • Supergirl -- "Elseworlds, Part 3" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 3' Recap: 2019 ‘Arrowverse’ Crossover Theme Revealed

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2,” the final part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 11. After John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) got another go at using the Book of Destiny to rewrite reality, the “Elseworlds” finale saw Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephan Amell) facing [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    TV Roundup: Netflix Orders Ted Bundy Docu-Series

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has ordered a docu-series on serial killer Ted Bundy and “Love, Gilda” sets a premiere date on CNN FIRST LOOKS Variety has obtained an exclusive clip of “Into the Okavango,” the upcoming National Geographic film. Premiering Dec. 14 on Nat Geo, the film, six years in the making, follows a [...]

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Liz Meriwether Lake Bell

    Lake Bell, Liz Meriwether Comedy 'Bless This Mess' Moves From Fox to ABC With Series Order

    “Bless This Mess,” the single-camera comedy co-created by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, has been ordered to series at ABC, Variety has learned. The series had previously been in contention at Fox and is a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios. Bell also stars in the series alongside Dax Shepard. In the series, a [...]

  • 'Get Shorty' Renewed for Season 3

    'Get Shorty' Renewed for Season 3 at Epix

    Epix has renewed “Get Shorty” for Season 3. The loose adaptation of the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel and subsequent film stars Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano, Lidio Porto, Megan Stevenson, Sean Bridgers, and Carolyn Dodd. In the series, O’Dowd plays a hitman from Nevada who struggles to shed his criminal past after he moves to Hollywood to [...]

  • Goliath Season 2 Amazon

    Amazon Renews 'Goliath' for Season 3

    Amazon has renewed legal drama “Goliath” for a third season. “Goliath” centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who has one shot at redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. “Our [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content