While niche programming’s all the rage these days thanks to easier means of production and the Internet, that wasn’t the case as little as ten years ago, and a new update regarding one of the original television homes of such content is about to leave many dismayed.
Right before new media content dominated the Internet landscape, one of the only places for off-beat niche programming was G4, which is now owned by NBC. However, after a long played out trip to the graveyard, a new report says the former home of Attack of the Show and X-Play is about to go dark for good.
According to Great Plains Communications:
[We] will be removing G4 from the channel lineup, effective November 30, 2014. We apologize for the inconvenience, but would like to remind you that this was a decision made by NBC Universal and we must abide by their contractual requirements.
While NBC Universal hasn’t made an official statement of their own regarding the matter, it wouldn’t be surprising to never see them do so after the tumultuous history that’s led to this moment.
After buying out what was left of predecessor TechTV – in what would be remembered as a highly controversial shift in programming and tonal concentration – G4 went on to produce some of the most popular “geek” content on television, primarily viewed as the seed that launched the careers of Chris Hardwick, Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, Morgan Webb, Jessica Chobot and Adam Sessler. While the network thrived for nearly a decade, when the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal took place, the decision was ultimately made to rebrand G4 into the Esquire Network. However, those plans were also aborted, and the NBC-owned network Style underwent the rebrand instead.
It’s a shame following the canceled rebranding that no efforts were made to try and revive the network. For all of its business history, the talent pool at G4 was always willing to bring their A-game to the table. Considering where many of them ended up (as high as HBO in some cases), we can’t help but wonder if everything would’ve been fine if, in fact, the inmates had been allowed to run the asylum ten years back.
Neither Comcast nor NBC Universal ever truly understood what G4 was trying to be, and that’s a shame, but at least we can finally lay this chapter of television history to rest come November 30th.