I was trying to refrain from talking much more about G4. While the network was pretty useless, it still had gaming shows and those shows were great to watch. It was the only place on TV (besides Spike TV's E3 coverage) that we could get some gaming entertainment. Now it's gone, and NBC isn't blaming themselves. Instead they are saying you don't watch enough TV and are now seemingly lying about their new "Esquire Network" programming to get you back.
NBCUniversal announced that G4 will now be called Esquire Network, do we get sexy Mila Kunis on the Esquire magazine with it?! Joking aside, this is an odd new twist to G4. There will be two original series to start with. The first being "The Getaway" which is about an "underground" cooking event where celebrities travel around and basically get taunted on their cooking. The second is "Knife Fight" and this is basically "Chopped" from the Food Network. Contestants need to use secret ingriedients to make a meal.
So they went from being a network for nerds, to a network making fun of Food Network so far. This isn't what is maddening. They state the new network is "upscaled Bravo for men." Since when have men been interested in this? So far its a network with no identity. They also have plans to have re-runs of NBC shows like Parks and Recreation. Whats next? Seignfield like TBS? Or 24 hours of COPS? Well they do have American Ninja Warrior coming back to complicate the image even more.
Why such the "drastic" change of heart? Well according to NBC, “Realistically, guys who are into gaming are not necessarily watching television. If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for.”
So why not understand the original target audience? We are gamers, not wannabe jocks that forgot Spike TV exists. G4 had two shows left running for gamers, beyond that they had hour long sessions of COPS or other shows we couldn't care less about. They simply did not care, period. They thought there was nothing there for us, but there is. If there were more tech shows or gaming related shows, we would be interested. How does a show like "Revenge of the Nerds" go to TBS and not G4? In one simple step they did a better job than NBC ever did for G4. Growing up I always wanted to watch Tech TV and G4 because of gaming news. It was so fascinating to me, and I could sit there and listen to it. It was never offered on any of my cable services, and by the time I got DirecTV, G4 was removed.
To make matters worse, they also go on to lie about their programming to try and keep us nerds around. They stated on several occasions the new network will include shows for us, but be more upscale. Okay so where is this programming at? Not a single show is targeted at us at all. They keep American Ninja Assassin running, but cancel the two gaming shows (X-Play and Attack of the Show), and do nothing to replace them. Yeah, thats really respecting the small fanbase you had left....
It's not that I'm mad about the new direction, it's that they are trying to ensure no one steps back into this market again. We want Tech TV and tech news, but G4 ruined it. Luckily Spike should still have E3 coverage, GOTY Awards, and GTTV, now if they would just expand on that. If the market wasn't there, other networks wouldn't be tip toeing in, and sites like ours wouldn't be opened. Since our market doesn't matter, we better not see an "Esquire" booth at E3....
If they wanted to combine entertainment with gaming and tech, I'd be fine. If they wanted to have more upscale tech TV and add in some new approaches, I'd be fine. They didn't. They lied, they said they were going to one of those routes and didn't, then blamed us for not watching COPS network with interuptions of X-Play. It wasn't our fault, it was their fault for not caring. They are not even listed on DirecTV, and didn't put up a fight to change that, no wonder their ratings suck.
Dustin has been a journalist for the past 6 years. Writing for gaming based websites and attending film school, he has brought his interest to The Movie Pool, PushStartSelect, and now Cinelinx.