By Sahil Patel
Announced at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Esquire has ordered a second season of “White Collar Brawlers,” a reality series based on a web show from digital studio Portal A.
An air date hasn’t been set, but Portal A says the second season is likely to debut this coming fall. Esquire is also planning to increase the number of episodes from six hour-long installments, though the network hasn’t specified exactly how many episodes it’s committing to. Among the other things that will be different the second time around, the entire second season will take place in New York and Brooklyn, with episodes being filmed at Gleason’s Gym. Fighters will also get one more month to train.
Pre-production is scheduled to begin for “White Collar Brawlers” in March, with casting already underway.
A little background on the show: The idea originated with a web series produced by Portal A and featuring two of the studio’s founders, Kai Hasson and Nate Houghteling, training to battle each other out in the boxing ring. The documentary web series encompassed more than 20 short-form episodes, shot and edited in real time as Hasson and Houghteling trained. Over its run, the web version of “White Collar Brawlers” brought in more than 2.5 million video views.
Additionally, Portal A incorporated several live events to the “White Collar Brawlers” experience, including a “Tech Beat-Up” which allowed Bay Area companies to duke it out in an inflatable glove boxing tournament. It all culminated in the final bout, which scored more than 1,500 paid attendees.
It was successful enough to be picked up by Esquire, NBCUniversal’s newish male-oriented network, for what is now two seasons.
“White Collar Brawlers” is produced by Authentic Entertainment. Though Portal A doesn’t have ownership over the TV version of the show, Zach Blume, Kai Hasson, and Nate Houghteling serve as co-executive producers.