Esquire Network acquires The Illegal Eater

U.S. network Esquire has acquired season one of The Illegal Eater, a travel and food series about underground restaurants starring former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page.

Distributor Rive Gauche Television has also sold the show, produced by Winnipeg-based Farpoint Films and Toronto-based Middle Child Films, to Discovery Networks (Asia-Pacific) and Thailand’s True Corp.

Each episode follows the singer-songwriter as he visits underground eateries in two cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago and Austin.

The Illegal Eater was pitched to Esquire before the series went into production, Kyle Bornais, producer and principal at Farpoint Films, told Playback, but the network decided to take a pass on the show at the time.

Still, the producers believed The Illegal Eater was a particularly good fit for the network, thanks to Steven Page’s hosting style and the alternative approach the show takes to lifestyle programming.

“We really wanted to break into the U.S. market with the show,” Bornais said, adding that much of the series was shot in locations stateside.

Season one of The Illegal Eater premiered on the Blue Ant Media‘s Travel+Escape channel last fall.  The first season of the show was shot on a budget of about $1.5 million, Bornais said.

–  From Realscreen, with files from Julianna Cummins