G4, also known as G4 TV, is an American cable and satellite-television channel originally geared primarily toward viewers aged 12–34, based on the world of video games. More recently, the channel has diverted its focus to general-interest programming that mainly targets viewers aged 18–34, although one video game show is still offered on the channel.
Based on the definition above, you would think that the mainstream programming they offer would at least have a semblance of video game relevance. Sadly, in order to capture the 12-34 viewing cluster they have resorted to having the “hot chick” and the “good looking guy” give snarky commentary and perform skits to relate to the gaming audience. I have no issue with this strategy – EXCEPT that they have no real video game knowledge and are just really good at reading a teleprompter, or shall I say trying to read it (Olivia Munn, I am looking at you). I would rather have people that can be both eye candy and are intelligent. Get us a knowledgeable staff that actually adds dimension to the show.
In order for G4 to make a better connection with the “geek” culture, they need to do a severe overhaul to their programming. Besides using TRUE gamers to host your gaming offerings, G4 should start working on more original programming to bring a steady stream of viewers. Years ago, Spike TV (one of my favorite networks) was much like G4 – lost in the ocean of mediocrity amongst all the cable networks. Over time, they slowly shifted focus and improved by taking risks to become a legit network that provides kick ass programming. Adding powerhouses like the UFC and TNA Wrestling as well as other cool programming made Spike TV a lot better.
G4’s program block sure is a sight to behold. Besides Attack of the Show (AOTS) and some of the other geek-centric fare, here are some of their programming gems:
In looking at these 12-hour blocks, you see that it is mostly repeats of the previous day and 1.5 hour blocks of Cops or Cheaters. Who watches this stuff? Where is the original programming and the new shows that make me want to put this channel on? Oh yeah- there are none! If they spent more money on production and less on Barbie-gamers-that-aren’t-real-gamers or commercials for the Shake Weight, you would attract better advertisers to your network.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Olivia Munn, Blair Butler, Kevin Pereira or Chris Gore. I know they are getting a paycheck and working towards bigger things, but don’t take your audience for fools.
G4's coverage of this past week's Comic-Con, while a service to the “geek” culture was also chock full of jokes at the attendees' expense. While this was humorous, it was also fucked up, since these are the guys and girls that hang on to your every word and make you household names. In short, G4 is the equivalent of GameStop with their big-box presentation of gaming news. Real gamers loathe both since they feel both are full of shit – which is unfortunate. I challenge G4 to improve and become a true voice for the gaming, geek and tech communities. Odds are, they won’t give a fuck about my opinions but it is time someone called them out on their bullshit.
What do you think of G4 and it’s program offerings and how would you improve it?