G4 was once a network that focused primarily on video game news and reviews, but the channel has evolved into a men’s channel that competes with Spike TV and the History Channel.
The History of G4
G4 was originally created in 2002 as a network affiliated with Comcast that was intended to be the MTV for video games. Creator Charles Hirschhorn believed that the format of G4 would lend itself to advertisements that were not apparent as being advertisements. For example, video game news and reviews could potentially be considered to be advertisements for the video games that were featured, but the format of a television show does not make viewers feel that they are watching a commercial for a game.
The target market of the network is males in the 18 to 35 age range because this demographic tends to contain the highest concentration of video game players. In 2006, network executives believed that a move away from video games would be best for the growth of the network.
The significant departure from the roots of the channel has been controversial for some viewers. Information about video games will still be available on the G4 website.G4 has evolved from a video game news and information network into a men’s channel, and NBCUniversal and the Hearst Corporation recognized the potential of the network. In 2013, G4 will be replaced by the Esquire Channel. The Esquire Channel will be geared toward the modern male, and programs will be focused on food, travel and entertainment. Some video game-related programs are set to be aired as part of the Esquire Channel.
G4 has many sister channels, and some of these channels include Bravo, Oxygen, USA Network, MSNBC, E! and Chiller.
More information about G4 can be found at http://www.g4tv.com/.
Top G4 Shows
Programming is expected to change throughout 2013 as G4 transitions into the Esquire Channel. The shows listed below may be pulled as part of the transition.
• Attack of the Show is a live program that first aired in 2005. The show currently airs four days per week, and news about everything from video games to movies is discussed during the program. National news is also featured, and the segments are hosted by Candace Bailey and Sara Underwood.
It has been announced that Attack of the Show will not be returning in 2013. This news is likely in relation to G4’s transition to appeal to a different demographic. Over 1,700 episodes of the program have aired over the past seven years.
• Campus PD is another television show originally airing on G4. The program first aired in
2009, and the setup of the show is similar in style to the police reality series Cops. Crimes that are committed on college campuses across the United States are featured on the show, and cameramen follow campus police officers as they respond to calls.
No public announcement has been made related to the future of the show once G4 changes over to the Esquire Channel. New episodes of Campus PD have not aired since early 2012, but reruns are still played on G4.
• American Ninja Warrior first aired in 2009. Based on the Japanese television show Sasuke, the program features unique physical activities that contestants must successfully complete in order to win the competition. Obstacle course challenges that contestants face during the show include a rope ladder, a warped climbing wall and a giant swing.
The obstacle courses featured on American Ninja Warrior are located in Southern California. The course has not yet been successfully completed. While no formal announcements have been made related to the show and the Esquire Channel, tryout applications are still being accepted.
G4 also airs reruns of shows that are traditionally thought to appeal to a male audience. Examples of shows that are meant for the network’s target demographic include Lost, Heroes, Cops and Cheaters.