Reanimated video game culture hub G4 will return to linear TV on November 16, with carriage deals in place on Verizon FiOS, Cox, Xfinity TV and Philo.
In announcing its return, the network also said it will also have a multi-year promotional and commercial partnership with Twitch. It also plans to continue putting out channel-specific content on social media and YouTube.
G4 originally launched in 2002 and was created by former Disney TV exec Charles Hirschhorn, who saw it as a successor to MTV in its ability to tap into youth culture. A number of notable personalities appeared on the network as hosts, among them Olivia Munn, Chris Hardwick, Kevin Pereira and Grace Helbig. G4 went dark in 2014 as its place on the dial was taken over by the Esquire Network, which would prove to be a short-lived branding exercise. Amid a groundswell of enthusiasm on social media, new owner Comcast Spectacor (a Philadephia sports and entertainment outfit backed by Comcast) revealed plans in 2020 for the network’s return.
“Since the initial announcement of G4’s revival at Comic-Con @ Home last year, we’ve been in constant dialogue with our audience through the content we’ve produced,” G4 president Russell Arons said in a press release. “We made a promise to fans that we would build this network with their input and are proud to say that our promise has been kept. At G4, we never stopped playing and can’t wait to have our fans join us in our hilarious and fairly preposterous sandbox on November 16.”
Josh Cella, Chief Revenue Officer of G4 and Spectacor Gaming, called the network “a pioneer for video games on television for twelve years, long before businesses were focused on gaming. The credibility that comes with that cannot be manufactured.”
G4 said its programming will be produced and delivered through a “first-of-its-kind,” 24/7 broadcast studio, featuring a collaborative workplace and professional esports and gaming environment. The space is designed by architectural firm Populous, whose credits include projects at Yankee Stadium, Red Bull HQ and Esports Stadium Arlington.
Here are highlights of G4’s programming lineup, with descriptions furnished by the network:
- Attack of the Show!: The original geek culture variety show returns with host Kevin Pereira and a brand new cavalcade of misfits. Irreverent and unscripted, Attack of the Show! is a welcoming place for any fan who wants to spend a couple of hours laughing, watching epic stunts and hilarious sketches, and deep-diving into the latest trends of the internet. From hilarious web videos to memes, to streaming of all types, to celebrity guests, to the weirdest tech, Attack of the Show! is still the show that gets it before it gets out.
- Xplay: Xplay used an extra life! The ultimate video game review show returns as a digital-first content brand that balances an authoritative loudmouth confidence with the absurdity of a public-access comedy sketch show, all while (somehow) maintaining enough credibility to book interviews with top industry luminaries. Xplay is expanding the conversation with insightful and irreverent explorations into every game worth your time: AAA, indie, mobile, VR, retro… it’s all on the table. Adam Sessler is back, joined by a group of hilarious experts, to bring a brutally honest voice to the modern gaming scene.
- Boosted: Boosted is a weekly esports comedy series for curious gamers and esports fanatics alike. Boosted is that moment in-game when you realize you’re the worst player in the lobby. We want to revel in the entry-level as we approach gaming and esports as interns guided by our executive-level experts. Boosted will cover the latest trends, news, and tournaments in the esports world every week.
- Ninja Warrior: The quest to summit Mt. Midoriyama returns as G4 attains the exclusive linear broadcasting rights to SASUKE, better known as Ninja Warrior in the United States, from Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS). G4 will air all 167 episodes of the legendary competition series that pits heroic athletes of all types from pro gymnasts, to fishermen, to comedians against a four-stage, formidable, and/or impossible obstacle course. G4 will also present three tournaments never-before-seen in the United States, SASUKE 35, 36, and 37.
- ESL Gaming: G4 has partnered with ESL Gaming, the world’s leading esports and gaming lifestyle company, to produce and broadcast several prime-time esports programs, a first for ESL Gaming in the US and Canada. G4’s exclusive linear broadcast rights make it the premier destination for ESL Pro Tour events including the IEM Katowice 2022.
- Dungeons & Dragons Limited Series: Coming off the immense success of D&D Live 2021 featuring notable celebrities like Jack Black, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Smith, and DrLupo, G4 will continue its partnership with Wizards of the Coast with an all-new, limited-run series to premiere on G4 this Fall. The series will follow four campaigns with a mix of G4 talent, veteran D&D players, and celebrities for a new generation of D&D fans.
Additional distribution, programming and content partnerships will be announced closer to the network launch.
G4 said its talent roster will include returning hosts Pereira and Adam Sessler; esports personalities Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez, Ovilee May, and Froskurinn; WWE Superstar Xavier Woods, aka Austin Creed; YouTube personalities Kassem G, Jirard “The Completionist” Khalil, and Gina Darling; Twitch streamers Fiona Nova and Will Neff; and vStreamer CodeMiko.
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