The slow death of G4

First there was ZDTV which became TechTVand it was cool. The shows were great, the hosts were real nerds but able to entertain and host a show, plus there was neat-o programming nuggets of joy like Thunderbirds. Then, a young upstart joined into the fray…G4.

G4 was supposed to be like TechTV but focused on mainly video games and aimed at an MTV demographic. It was mainly a mess, with programming consisting supposedly hip hosts (they were mainly lame and poor tv presenters) speaking over video game clips and it even had a show that was composed purely of video game cut scenes (WTF!?!?!). It was pretty bad and was obviously aimed at teenage boys because half the host were sexy young girls who obviously didn’t spend much time playing video games.

Then something terrible happened. TechTV was merged with G4 and became a freakish abomination called G4techTV. Eventually the network reverted back to just G4 and almost all TechTV programming was gone. Then slowly but surely almost all the video game programming was dropped from the show. Now it is mainly made up of shows like Cops, Cheaters, Campus PD. It completely sucks.

Now today, this hit the news: DirecTV drops Comcast’s G4 in latest tussle between media giants

See also this article: DirectTV drops G4

A rep of DirectTV is quoted as saying “Since G4 is among the lowest rated networks based on the latest Nielsen data, we decided that it made sense to focus on preserving programming that is more relevant to our larger customer base.”


I found someone crunched the numbers about G4’s programming lineup over at Joystiq in a post:

No wonder the ratings are so low.

P.S. Olivia Mund sucks on the Daily Show.

Yeah, much as I want to like her, she just hasn’t found a voice there.

Also, did she really have a steamy affair with Justin Timberlake while Jessica Biel (presumably) wept into her pillow at home?

Sorry, what was this thread about again?

It feels like it’s become the “Back to the Future” channel lately.

The only program I watched regularly on G4 was X-Play but it’s been three years since I’ve seen an episode. I hope some of the folks are able to land on their feet. 12 years is a long time for a video game show to run.

Olivia Munn was the only thing worth watching on that channel, it’s not surprising that they got dropped once she bailed.

Woah, she actually bailed? No wonder. The whole sexy host thing was the main focus of that show after they gutted everything out of The Screen Savers to make Attack of the Show.

And, as much as X-play is a good show, Attack of the Show was pretty much the entire identity of the network. It was an Internet show before the existence of Internet shows.

And I can’t believe I typed woah instead of whoa.

Bring back Leo!

I once watched a marathon of Ninja Warrior on G4. It was awesome.

This happens to almost every cable channel. It’s a regression to the mean. A niche channel finds they can get bigger rating by showing more and more generic programming. Sometime it happens to a channel more than once. The Nashville Network (country music) became TNN (generic reruns) which became Spike (focused on young male audiences) and it is now kind of waffling back to generic programming.

G4 seems to have moved away from Video games for along while now. They seemed to try becoming a cross between Spike and MTV and now they are just a dumping ground for COPs and Cheaters reruns. The funny thing is, a Video game TV network seems like a good idea, I wonder if someone else will come up with one so it too can eventually start showing generic reruns.

I love Ninja Warrior on G4! But I also fully admit that that’s the only thing I watch on there. If G4 folds, where’m I gonna get my Sasuke?

I’m with you on Ninja Warrior. Where the hell am I gonna get my fix now?

I like Unbeatable Banzuke better. I like Ninja Warrior but Banzuke is much more varied and the more compelling of the two shows.

Where can I find it?

Ninja Warrior is great. X-Play was great before they started changing the style of the show and bringing in new people. I loved it when it was just Adam and Morgan talking about games and nothing else.

I still watch X-Play, but it’s become something very different from what it once was. It used to be about video game reviews, period. This game rules, don’t buy this other game.

But there’s a fine line between reviewing and advertising, and now I think they’ve totally overstepped it. You’re lucky to see one or two reviews per show these days. Most of the show is now “Hands On” or “All Access” segments, which come off as, “Here, let’s give Game X some free advertising and call it news!” They’re not even having fun with it anymore.

“Welcome to X-Play, today we’re devoting the whole half-hour to Fable III!” <stop> <delete>

I don’t think she bailed officially but she’s only there about 10% of the time, the rest is a parade of hot girls trying really really hard to be quirky and cute.

This^2. Mrs G and I are addicted to Ninja Warrior, it’s truly the greatest sport on television. Makoto Nagano is our hero.

Salmon Ladder!

I just checked out their website. While they have a bunch of games that they’ve reviewed I noticed that all the video clips in the reviews are segments talking about the game without actually being a review. It’s too bad. They used to put their video reviews online but now it doesn’t look like they do that anymore.

An old roommate of mine used to watch G4 all of the time, so I would watch it occasionally with him. Since moving out I rarely watch it save for Ninja Warrior and sometimes X-Play…and they’re only if I’m bored.

I was surprised to see Olivia Munn on Daily Show…when did she leave? Why? Is there an “official” reason? Whats the “real” reason?