×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

G4

With vidgames generating north of $20 billion a year, it's no wonder the creators of new cable network G4 are trying to build a lucrative biz around the time when gamers aren't playing games. However, while the concept seems like a good one, it doesn't pay off for the viewer.

With:
Hosts: Matt Gallant & Randy Kagan ("Game On"), Ronnie Lewis ("Sweat"), David Meinstein ("Portal"), Diane Mizota ("Filter"), Cory Rouse ("Cheat"), Scot Rubin ("G4.com"), Bill Sindelar ("Blister"), et al.

With vidgames generating north of $20 billion a year, it’s no wonder the creators of new cable network G4 are trying to build a lucrative biz around the time when gamers aren’t playing games. However, while the concept seems like a good one, it doesn’t pay off for the viewer.

Overwrought with flashy but often cheesy and endless graphics, G4 is basically a video version of the mags gamers have long subscribed to, featuring a programming slate of shows that offer tips, tricks and reviews of new releases.

Original hourlong shows, with most broken up into categories (covering sports or action, for example) are too long and appear more like awkward infomercials with amateurs as hosts. Much of the time is spent showing off game footage of titles — so much that it becomes boring for gamers who have already played the titles and moved on, and frustrating for those who haven’t and want to.

Yet there’s no question the programmers know their young audience of geeks. Hosts are young and shows are littered with an attractive cast of women, some scantily clad.

And the channel seems to have enough access to the major game publishers to be able to offer the latest imagery from upcoming titles.

But given its lucrative audience of 18- to 34-year-olds, the future doesn’t look bright. Shows have commercial breaks, but few advertisers have signed on so far other than Revolution Studios’ “XXX,” Pringles and the U.S. Army, forcing G4 to eat up time promoting its shows.

News show “Pulse,” which highlights the latest developments in the gaming biz, works well. Net’s other hits include:

  • “Icons”: A captivating profile of the vidgame biz’s leaders, including Shigeru Miyamoto (the man behind Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong and Zelda franchises).

  • “G4TV.com”: A quirky but watchable interactive talkshow with three charismatic hosts led by Scot Rubin who answer callers’ and emailers’ questions about games.

  • “Starcade”: Reruns of the 1983 gameshow where players compete to win their own coin-operated arcade machine is quirky and nostalgic.

Misses include:

  • “Sweat”: A rundown of sports games, that in one segment, shows two people squaring off in competition. Watching a show about games can be bad. Watching two people play a game is torture.

  • “Filter”: As host, Diane Mizota is trying to become the Carson Daly of a vidgame countdown show, but show’s trancelike format dulls down even topics such as the top 10 titles that should be turned into movies.

  • “Cheat”: Show about secrets and cheats works only if the viewer has the games being showcased.

Tech credits often mimic the cheap production values of a cable-access channel, with sets that look as if they were thrown together in someone’s apartment or garage. Video is poorly lit and shot using digital cameras.

Two good shows about vidgames would work. But an entire network? Not in G4’s case.

G4

Production: Produced by Comcast. Head of programming, Vinnie Longobardo; Reviewed July 31, 2002.

Cast: Hosts: Matt Gallant & Randy Kagan ("Game On"), Ronnie Lewis ("Sweat"), David Meinstein ("Portal"), Diane Mizota ("Filter"), Cory Rouse ("Cheat"), Scot Rubin ("G4.com"), Bill Sindelar ("Blister"), et al.

More TV

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content