Grit & Escape Network Gear Up for Launch


ATLANTA: The male-skewed Grit network is set to launch in the U.S. on August 18 with the classic High Noon, while the female-focused Escape channel premieres with Body Heat.

Both channels, positioned as the country's first-ever male- and female-centric over-the-air broadcast networks, debut on Monday, August 18, at 12 p.m. High Noon, starring Gary Cooper, leads the launch slate of Grit. The broadcast will be followed by a week-long tribute to John Wayne with Seven Days of The Duke, which will feature 21 films. Highlights include Sands of Iwo Jima, The Quiet Man and The Cowboys. Grit will then feature a tribute to Clint Eastwood with Eight Days of Eastwood, starting August 25. Films include Bronco Billy, City Heat and The Rookie.

Escape will launch with the Kathleen Turner vehicle Body Heat. Further highlights for the channel include Malice, featuring Nicole Kidman; Copycat, with Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter; Final Analysis, starring Kim Basinger and Richard Gere; and Star 80 with Mariel Hemingway.

Grit and Escape are currently cleared to be seen in 50 percent of the country, with more distribution to be announced shortly.

"Gary Cooper as Will Kane is one of the most legendary performances of an American hero in motion picture history. High Noon is the perfect movie to launch Grit, which will be built around the classic male hero with a focus on western, war and action movies," commented Jonathan Katz, the president and CEO of Katz Broadcasting, which owns and operates the two new networks. "Kathleen Turner contemporized the femme fatale in Body Heat and her steamy performance is the consummate way to seductively introduce viewers to Escape, which will feature daring and sexy stories of crime, justice and mystery."