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Changes Coming To Spike TV, Oxygen, Esquire Channels

Spike TV
Don Cheadle performs on Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle"

The Cloo crime show channel is gone, and big changes are coming soon to Spike TV, Oxygen and the Esquire Network. Here's the latest:

Credit Spike TV

SPIKE TV: TV's first cable channel for men, reaching more than 93 million US households, will change to the Paramount Network next year. Viacom, spun off from CBS in 2005, owns Paramount Pictures and Paramount Television, so the new name extends the company's branding, similar to the many Walt Disney Co. cable channels.

"It's unclear what the rebranding would mean for Spike's current lineup, which includes… 'Bar Rescue,' 'Ink Master,' 'Lip Sync Battle' and more," says the Hollywood Reporter. 

One of the oldest cable channels, it premiered in 1983 as The Nashville Network and carried country music programming until 2000. For three years it operated as The National Network until changing to Spike TV in 2003. Viacom also owns MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TV Land, VH1, CMT, BET and Logo TV. 

OXYGEN:  NBCU's Oxygen channel targeted to women will change formats this summer. Oxygen will drop lifestyle and reality shows and switch to true-crime programming. "Crime Time" weekend programming blocks last year brought double-digit ratings gains and "really resonated with our female audience," said Frances Berwick, president of lifestyle networks at NBCU Cable Entertainment, in a media release. Oxygen will be competing for true crime viewers with A&E, FX and ID (Investigation Discovery).

Credit Esquire Network

CLOO: NBC Universal's crime show channel is gone. NBC pulled the plug Feb. 1 on the channel reaching about 23 million homes. Started as Sleuth in 2006, NBC rebranded it as Cloo in 2011.  Cloo reportedly had the fewest subscribers of any English-language channel in the NBCU group.

ESQUIRE NETWORK: NBCU's joint venture with Hearst Magazines, aimed at men, also will go dark on cable systems later this year and become an online service. The network was down to about 45 million homes, after being dropped by DirecTV and AT&T U-verse in December.  NBC rebranded the Style channel as Esquire in 2013.