G4ME OVER? Reflections on the Possible End of G4.


Word is that the G4 channel is done in early 2013.  Here is the quote that started it all, direct from Variety.


G4 is going less geek, more chic.
The NBCUniversal-owned cabler is undergoing a rebranding, according to sources, that could involve a name change and take G4 in a direction reminiscent of GQ, the magazine for the “modern male” whose interests span beyond the dorm room or messy bachelor pad. The guy-centric net is mulling a more sophisticated look while remaining true to its tech and vid game roots. Brand refresh aims to bow in early 2013.

I consider G4 to be one of the reasons this blog exists.  G4 and Attack of the Show helped me to stay up to date on social media, programs, and everything newer than new.  Attack of the Show was the one stop nightly news for everything that could possible interest the geek community.  Stars and humor and tech and games and toys and movies and comics and TV and this list could go on but I think you’re getting the point.

I even tuned in to X-Play as often as possible and I’m not a gamer!

G4 even brought over one of the biggest cult hits of the last 5 years, Ninja Warrior.  Wipeout is a stupid show.  Ninja Warrior (and even the American version) is a showcase for how much the human body can achieve.  In turn, G4 should have become the same for the geek community but it never quite got there.

As wonderful as the good shows were:  AOTS, X-Play, Screen Savers, Web Soup, Comic Con, E3, were there was plenty of junk on there too.  Cops, Cops and more Cops.  Cheaters and even more Cheaters.  It became a joke.  Especially when there is so much available.  Shows could have been brought over within the NBC Universal library.  Play repeats of Psych, Haven, Ghost Hunter, Burn Notice, SNL or any of 100 other shows.  If they could be on Hulu, they could be on G4.   Speaking of Hulu…

G4 should have been the leader in online media.  Full episodes of AOTS and any other G4 original should have been available to watch by the next day at the latest.  The shows were made fast and stayed current.  Therefore there is very limited replay value.  But the interviews, the comedy — that is timeless.  I would go back through the archives to view shows from years back.  To see what we were excited about, to see poor choices in hair and clothing.  Sometimes just to see how much could be done on such a small budget.

It is that small budget that should have led to more innovation.  Instead of yet another episode of Cops why not take Blair Butler, a camera, and a car to drive down to Meltdown and film a weekly half hour comic book show.  That shouldn’t cost more than $1000 total.  It would be the show to watch each and every week for the hundreds of thousands of comic book fans in America.  Keep expanding this to other hosts.  The Chris Gore Show.  A half hour of Around the Net.  Travels with Alison Haislip.  Sara Underwood bikini hour.  Unless the rights to air Cops and Cheaters were found at the dollar store all of these original ideas are dirt cheap.

The channel became more than just TV, it was a community and as such there was rapid loyalty.  Loyalty that was broken too many times, and eventually the fans started to leave because they were tired of this treatment.  This wasn’t a normal fanbase nor a normal channel and thus the normal rules do not apply.  The fans should have been told what was happening with Olivia Munn.  Alison should have been named the new c0-host.  Every change in order to gain a larger audience should have been done in ways that didn’t piss off the loyal viewers.

DC Comics decided to change everything, but they were upfront and kept most of their fans.  G4 did not tell anyone, and now they are “declining comment”.  This wont be a change, a relaunch, a reboot or any other term marketing would like.  This is a brand new channel that will have to build a brand new fanbase because no one will carry over into this new “GQ” thing.

The good news is that those who worked for the channel produced a live show 4-5 days out of the week.  Successfully too.  That skill, the ability to pull that off, will put every single one of the G4 employees at the top of any resume pile.  (Those who don’t stay with the new channel that is.)

In the midst of all this change, the fans need to remember that G4 has already changed names.  Its called Nerdist.  What G4 was, and what we all wanted it to be, now resides within Chris Hardwick’s empire.  Hardwick, Haislip, and more familiar faces are already there.  No one will be shocked to see Sessler or Pereira with their own show on the Nerdist network as it grows.  And grow it will.   Nerdist is our new home and there is damn sure a photo of our G4 parents above the fireplace.

Oh, and by the way, I cant think of one person who has bought a GQ magazine in years.

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