Game shop goes Hollywood

Co. hopes to transfer AOL content to tube

HOLLYWOOD — Vidgame entertainment company g-NET media is gearing up its first TV production slate with a pilot for MTV and several others in the works, while at the same time launching an offering on Rainbow Media’s Mag Rack video-on-demand service.

G-NET was formed in 2001 with the intention of becoming a new cable network devoted to videogame content like G4. When that effort failed, g-NET switched last year to focus on producing content that uses media from videogames.

Investors include Ben Affleck, Dick Clark Prods. vice chair and former Viacom and King World exec Jules Haimovitz and former ESPN topper Roger Werner.

Pre-sold characters

Company has already produced several DVD strategy guides for games and has a multi-year contract with America Online to create original animated content for its games section.

MTV pilot will use characters from existing vidgames from an unnamed publisher with which g-NET has struck a deal. It will contrast their lives as warriors within games and nerds in the outside world. Currently in pre-production, animated skein will be made with the same technology used to create games.

G-NET is also working on an “Mystery Science Theater 3000”-like pilot called “Basements” in which animated characters make sarcastic comments about games while they play them. Company prexy David Getson said g-NET is currently in talks with several networks to sell the program.

In addition, g-NET is hoping to transfer some of its programming for AOL onto TVs, including an upcoming show called “Face Off,” an “American Gladiators”-like competition between top vidgamers.

Game mag coming

Company’s deal with Rainbow calls for it to produce a new “video magazine” called 24seven gamer for the next two months that will include clips from its DVD strategy guides and game previews shot at the E3 confab. After that, g-NET is hoping to broaden its deal to feature original animated programming.

Mag Rack is currently available in 2.5 million digital cable homes.