It feels beyond strange to write about G4 considering just how long it's been since the network's had anything substantial to do with gaming, but with how much of a fuss the community has made over its decline and rebranding what I just discovered is borderline unbelievable: NBC Universal has reversed its decision to convert G4TV to The Esquire Network.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Universal chairman Bonnie Hammer has opted to offer up Style Network to Esquire instead, citing its lack of a strong, distinct identity with its target demographic as the main motivation. Hammer believes that rebranding Style instead will help to solidify that market and that the transition will be less confusing than changing a channel known (at one point, at least) for gaming to one dealing with fashion and general lifestyle.
"One of the hallmarks of our success is brand clarity," Hammer said in an internal staff memo. "Our goal has always been delivery of compelling content by means of distinct, complementary brands, each in its clearly defined lane. With Bravo, E! and Oxygen, we offer unique takes on popular culture for an ever-broadening audience, including the all-important female demo. In pursuit of that same demo, Style presents brand overlap within our portfolio. Esquire Network, on the other hand, offers an opportunity to introduce a lifestyle network that speaks to an upscale male audience underserved in the current marketplace."
Does this mean that all that departed talent will be making a return, or that Attack of the Show and X-Play are coming back? Of course not. Even though it's been spared the chopping block for now, nothing indicates any change of plans for programming on G4. In other words, hope you really like Cops.
Real G4 fans, keep circulating the tapes.