Sunday, October 28, 2012

The end of G4 as we know it

As most people that read this blog know, I'm a nerd, and throughout most of my younger nerd life there wasn't a better channel on TV than G4. Even after the mid-2000s retooling away from an all video games network I still continued to watch because the remaining video games and tech program was excellent. That all change when G4 executives decided to cancel its only two studio show, X-Play and Attack of the Show, and again re brand as the TV version of GQ.

In my opinion this is a huge loss for the video game industry which seems to always be taking it on the chin from everyone. If I'm wrong about that tell me, but it seems that video games is still looked at my the mainstream, old-fashioned, media type as an underground cult that will go away. According to the ESRB in 2010 67% of US household play video games and just to put that in perspective Angry Birds, one of the most popular mobile game came out in late 2009 and began to hit its stride in 2010 meaning that the current percentage could approach 75% to 80% of households. In addition the video game industry generates over $10.5 billion annually which is more than the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL who all have their own TV networks. Granted it is a little bit of a different situation with all of the money going through the respective leagues rather than spread amongst many companies. Regardless with the average American household being 2.6 people in 2009 that means that there are 1.21 million household in the USA and based on the ESRB numbers almost 210 million people have video games in their homes.

With all of the statistics that I spewed out in that last paragraph you're still trying to tell me that there nobody out there that would watch a network focus on video games, that doesn't have to be the only thing on the network but part of a good balance. If I was in charge of G4 I wouldn't be re branding it as a the TV's GQ but reorienting it back toward video games and technology. As part of that change there would be a number of new shows I would add to the lineup:

Now I know what your saying, the first show I want to add is an old show, but I want to make some changes to it to make it better fit in with today's TV. Currently some of the most shows on TV are reality based talent searches, X-Factor, American Idol, and reality based competitions, Survivor, Amazing Race, so why not combine the two and search for America best gamer or team of gamers. The show could involve a different game each year and a national search to find the top 100 gamers and bring them to LA where they compete in a round-robin tournament to fill a 64 person/team bracket to determine America best gamer.

Interactive Talk Show
The working title above pretty much sums up the show, but it would be more than that. Yes, it would be a talk show where the hosts answer questions from viewers about current video games and technology, but viewers would also get in-depth looks at new video games and technology which would be discussed be the panel. 

Broadcast of Major League Gaming
Once again pretty self-explanatory

Syndicated Shows
Currently G4 broadcasts syndicates of Lost, Cops, Campus PD and Cheaters amongst others. I would get rid of all of those expect for Lost and look to add a techy or nerdy show from the massive lineup owned by G4 parent company NBCUniversal.This could even include a late night anime block to compete with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

G4's Proving Ground
Proving Ground was a short lived show that would test concepts from pop culture to see how they worked in real life. The show was ended after the death of co-host Ryan Dunn. I would revive that show and keep the same concept but add new hosts to make the show a little more science oriented, similar to Mythbuster or Brainiac, but with more pop culture.

FIRST Robotics coverage/ Reality Show
And finally a quick bit of self-promotion. As my reader(s) know I've been involved with the FIRST Robotics Competition(FRC) for six years. I would like to see nothing more than FRC get a place back on TV, Championships were broadcast on ESPN in the late 1990s. I envision a weekly recap show on Mondays during the season as well as Saturday after broadcasts of District Championship weekend and World Championships.
In addition cameras could follow a team or teams and produce a weekly show about there progress. More likely a fictional team of high school students would be created and the show would follow their fictional quest to be world champions.

That about wraps up everything that I got, I hope you enjoyed this blog post and will mourn the lost of a once great channel along with me.

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