Before this year’s “Sexiest Man Alive” is revealed on Tuesday, PEOPLE is taking a look back at the coveted SMA title with a Sexiest Men Alive: Through the Years special as part of People/Entertainment Weekly Network‘s “Sexiest Week Alive” – a series of shows and interviews that celebrate some of Hollywood’s hottest hunks.
“The evolution of ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ is this thing that we sort of did for fun,” says PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director, Jess Cagle in a special look-back video, which also features some of the magazine’s past “Sexiest Man Alive” covers.
“I think for many years we wouldn’t necessarily do an interview with the guy, we would just name him ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ whether he wanted it or not,” explains Cagle.
However, that all changed about a decade ago.
- Watch all the Sexiest Week Alive content, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS and Android devices.
“Then, at some point, probably ten years ago it shifted and it evolved into this thing where if you want to be the ‘Sexiest Man Alive,’ we need you to really play ball with it,” says Cagle, “And I think that George Clooney and Brad Pitt, when they were named ‘Sexiest Man Alive,’ really had embraced it – and they kind of made it cool, so a lot of younger stars really wanted to do it.”
Both Clooney and Pitt have been named the “Sexiest Man Alive” twice. Clooney won the title in 1997 and then again in 2006. Meanwhile, Pitt was honored with the title in 1995 and also in 2000.
“It is a fantastic thing for your career to be called the ‘Sexiest Man Alive,'” shares Cagle. “It has become synonymous with PEOPLE. It has become its own thing in pop culture.”
He adds: “I can’t imagine it ever going away, at least not anytime soon. People still have a tremendous amount of fun with it.”
And if you just can’t get enough of all the hunky men, other themed content, which will also be available for streaming on PEN, includes specials like the “Sexiest Men In The Kitchen” and “Sexiest Men With Pets,” along with a special “Sexy Marathon” edition of The Jess Cagle Interview – featuring both stunning men and women – and the world premiere of “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016: Breaking Barriers.”
“Sexiest Week Alive” kicks off on Monday, Nov. 14 through Friday, Nov. 18 only on PEN.