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G4 to become the Esquire Channel, stars comment on show cancellations

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In a story posted yesterday on GamesIndustry International, NBCUniversal is reported to be planning to move the channel fighting for geek and nerd viewership, G4 TV, to a "largely untapped metrosexual viewership," The Esquire Channel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. NBCU has apparently inked a deal with Esquire parent company Hearst Corporation to take the network in a direction that will appeal more to the upscale male demographic, featuring programming on cooking, fashion, and travel, starting in the first half of 2013. In other words, GTFO, gamers and geeks.

G4 never really hit the mark or brought in the ratings that it set out to- and showing COPS 12 hours per day didn't help- but after X-Play's Adam Sessler, now EP of games content at Revision 3 Games, announced that he would be leaving after over a decade of service to the network, it was fairly obvious it would decline from there. Shortly after, X-Play was cancelled, Kevin Pereira left Attack of the Show, I stopped watching G4 completely, AOTS' and X-Play's death certificates were thereafter signed, and now it seems that the entire network is awaiting its impending doom.

Former AOTS host Kevin Pereira had current hosts Candace Bailey and Sara Underwood on his Pointless-Deathsquad podcast last week to speak on working for G4, among other things. The threesome, while thankful for the opportunities given to them by G4, are very candid about their experience on the network. AOTS has gradually been dumbed down from unpredictable, raunchy fun to proper, structured programming since its inception. The network eventually gave Bailey and Underwood less speaking roles to play in the show, and even tried to turn the two friends against each other in some kind of misguided, managerial plot. The very last episode for AOTS will apparently be pre-taped, unlike the live goodbye that Pereira was allowed to give at E3. The podcast goes off on more R-rated tangents, like sex tapes and kinky Thanksgiving days, but it's good to see what they're all really like out from under the ever-watchful eye of G4. You can have a listen to the entire podcast here.

I used to love G4 way back in the day, but the network started leaning heavily on only AOTS and X-Play to appeal to the techie- and games-inclined audience. Personally, I would have liked to see behind-the-scenes things for video games and/or movies, "art of" type segments, gaming tournaments of all kinds, and more game walkthroughs... but, hey, that's just me. What would you consider an ideal geek culture television network?

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