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G4 Moves Further From Technology Roots 129

Variety has a piece detailing some new hires at G4, all designed to further move the channel away from its technology roots. From the article: "One of Finn's priorities will be to scout people to profile when 'Icons' relaunches this summer. The 'Biography'-style skeinskein has been revamped to focus on figures that appeal to young men, including J.J. Abrams and Bryan SingerBryan Singer. She'll also continue to strengthen the lineup of guests visiting G4's live, studio-based series. In addition, both 'Filter' and 'Attack of the Show' will be relaunched in June with a scaled-back focus on technology. Heavier emphasis will be on attitude, humor and a broader range of male-oriented topics."
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G4 Moves Further From Technology Roots

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  • Is there any reason to watch this channel anymore...?
  • Balance (Score:5, Informative)

    by PoderOmega ( 677170 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:04PM (#15166721)
    I thought AotS was a perfect balance, and it is the only show I watch on G4 regularly. If it turns into Maxim magazine on TV then I will be very disapointed. I catch Icons occiationly, but that's it. Are they trying to be like SpikeTV? I don't watch that channel either.
    • If it turns into Maxim magazine on TV then I will be very disapointed...Are they trying to be like SpikeTV?

      Yes. This was apparent from the time Comcast bought TechTV from Ziff-Davis Publishing. The network was much better under ZD's control...

    • The only time I ever watch Spike is for syndicated eps of ST:TNG. Occaisionally a room mate will put on Takeshi no Chousenjou (MXC in america). The only thing I liked about that show was seeing Beat Takeshi, the Japanese version of Sammy L Jackson, on such a ridiculous program.
    • If I had cable, the only things I'd really consider watching on Spike would be re-runs of ST:TNG and DS9, and maybe TNA Impact)
  • sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reachums ( 949416 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:08PM (#15166763) Homepage

    Well, that sucks. The whole reason I liked watching G4 was the Tech stuff. When they added Star Trek, I didn't mind. I like Star Trek, and if you stretch your logic it is kind of about technology as well. But the Man Show, Street Furry, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, none of those are really about tech. I guess you could make an argument about Street Furry being about Car technology, but I digress.

    There are in fact women who watch G4, and they are totally leaving us out. We don't want to watch the Man Show (for obvious reasons), I want to watch shows that focus on Technology and Gaming. I want to have guests that all Geeks can enjoy, male or female, young or old. I want Icons to tell me about Tech/Geek icons, not male icons.

    Wasn't Spike TV supposed to be the Chanel for men?

    • Re:sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by almostmanda ( 774265 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:14PM (#15166845)
      This is just another effort to get the young men back into watching TV. The 18-24 males have pretty much disappeared as far as ratings by demographic go. I guess the G4 higher-ups realized that talking about video games and the internet all the time is counter-productive when they're trying to lure men AWAY from those forms of entertainment.
      • Re:sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by linzeal ( 197905 )
        This is insightful as all heck. Out of my dozen of so friends the only ones that still watch TV the 3-4 hours a day, like most demographics; either are complete losers or have children whom they supervise when watching. I myself will be going on 6 years without cable TV soon and the only show I watch is Lost, which I download.
        • Re:sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

          And you are insightful as all heck, too. The only reason I still have cable is due to using cable for my interweb connection. I tend to download most shows I'm interested in - this is 2006, TV should work around my schedule, not the other way around.

          The saddest part is that my cable company recently did...something. Going on over 4 months now, there are still several channels where the sound is badly out of sync. You can also expect (no matter which channel you're on), a "burp" every hour or so, where

      • Re:sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by toad3k ( 882007 )
        I never really thought about it, but a lot of the people I know in that age bracket indeed do not watch tv anymore.

        I wonder what happened. The internet I guess.
      • If they're trying to get young men to watch tv again, they're doing a horrible job. G4 was all I watched when it first started and now I hardly even watch that. It won't be long before I stop watching altogether.
    • Please mod that parent up!

      I'm so annoyed at what G4 became ... and is becoming even more. SpikeTV already requires a very low IQ to remotely appreciate and it seems G4 now wants to appeal to the same public.

      Are they trying to tell us they think gamers/techies have low IQs, that we like shows filled with cliches and pop crap ?

      OK, so now we need a new tech tv, where we'll be able to watch... tech stuff because I really don't care about jessica alba's latest iPod!
      • Are they trying to tell us they think gamers/techies have low IQs, that we like shows filled with cliches and pop crap ?

        It's a trap!

        Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Really. Kinda like Tourette's, only with images stuck in my brain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:09PM (#15166766)
    Is this one of those Little Caesar's commercials?

    Pizza Pizza!
  • Good Riddance (Score:5, Informative)

    by MudButt ( 853616 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:10PM (#15166781)
    I, for one, ditched G4 right after they killed TechTV. IMHO, Leo [] and Patrick [] and Kevin [] have much better and creative shows now. (Uh, minus Martin Sargent, who's a tool).
    • (Uh, minus Martin Sargent, who's a tool)

      Hey, I like Infected []. It appeals to a certain taste of warped humor.

      I agree about Leo, Patrick, et. al. Their podcasts and videocasts are much better than anything that's been on G4 in a long time.


    • I agree. When Comcast bought TechTV they killed it. I watched TechTV far more often than I watch G4. The only show I watch on G4 is Brainiac. Nothing is better than blowing things up and doing a little science along the way.
    • I, for one, ditched G4 right after they killed TechTV. IMHO, Leo and Patrick and Kevin have much better and creative shows now. (Uh, minus Martin Sargent, who's a tool).

      Yeah, isn't it great that G4 bought TechTV so that they air tech shows anymore?

  • Targeted programming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Golias ( 176380 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:11PM (#15166801)
    Targeted programming pretty much always sucks.

    Good shows might appeal more to one demographic than another, but a good show is a good show.

    For example, you can make a show like "Gilmour Girls" and 30-something women will like it more than most other folks, resulting in a "cult hit" within that demographic, and TV people love it when that happens, because it makes selling ad time easier... but if you get a bunch of executives to say "we need to find a show that hits the Gilmour Girls market", that show will almost certainly be a complete train wreck, because they are not setting out to make a good show that will happen to click with certain people, but setting out to click with those people and the need for it to be good is a distant second.
    • I agree to a point. Targeting a Gilmore Girls audience is way too specific. But do you really believe a Tech audience is just as slim? I think there's a HUGE market for a true tech channel.

      TechTV was steadily growing in viewers and sponsorship while G4 was steadily declining. Viacom bought TechTV JUST for its viewers, not for the shows. That's why Call For Help, The Screen Savers, Fresh Gear, etc. were phased out. G4 is back on the decline now that TechTV viewers are getting sick of Sarah Lane et al.
  • by thedogcow ( 694111 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:12PM (#15166806)
    Yeah, I've noticed program changes with Adult Swim. Someone tell me why they are showing "Saved by the Bell" on Adult Swim?
      • Nostalgia.

        Ahh nothing like stoking those jailbait fantasies I suppose... It's fun to catch a couple of these for nostalgia's sake, but I sure hope they won't make a habit of this sort of thing. I watch Adult Swim for two reasons, anime, and the crazy wacked out comedy animated series. I don't want to see any live action. Oh and those homoerotic Burger King ads are totally creeping me out. They did something similar promoting Lord of the Rings too.
    • Because everyone knows that a '80s TV-G show belongs on late night 'Adult Swim'
    • My guess is that saved by the bell was watched by the vast majority of people who watch adult swim. Cartoon Network probably got a very good deal on the rights to it, and figured "hey, why not?" My guess is that it's similar to how I think the whole Adult Swim thing started anyways... They were given a good deal on the rights to mix up a lot of the old Hanna Barbara cartoons and played around with it a bit on Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The show proved to be a huge hit to a demographic that has been stea
      • To be more precise, Adult Swim was joined from the Hanna-Barbara mash-ups (of which Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast was an early precursor) and the Late-night Toonami block (Toonami actually started out, in the beginning, resyndicating things that had already been on US TV, like Thundercats and I think Sailor Moon, and a bunch of 60s H-B superhero shorts in between; only later Toonami moved to an all-anime format). But the guys who created Sealab 2021 actually pitched it twice, but the first time Cartoon Networ
      • Cartoon Network probably got a very good deal on the rights to it, and figured "hey, why not?"

        Turner Broadcasting (CN's parent) has aired SbtB for years on TBS in the morning and early afternoon, and I think they can do whatever the hell they want with it. It's basically the reverse of what happened with Family Guy, which aired on AS and now shows up at different times on TBS.

    • I'd rather watch Saved by the Bell than some of the DRECK that Adult Swim has showed recently. Tom Goes to the Mayor and 40 oz Mouse are two of the 100% crap shows that come to mind.

      I watched Saved by the Bell when they originally aired years ago... and it's nostalgia to me. And from what I understand, it's only a two week run.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      > Someone tell me why they are showing "Saved by the Bell" on Adult Swim?

      3 words:

      College drinking games.
    • Yeah, I've noticed program changes with Adult Swim. Someone tell me why they are showing "Saved by the Bell" on Adult Swim?

      I don't know. I hated the show growing up and I hate it now.

      I watch adult swim for the Anime, Boondocks, and ATHF... I wouldn't mind live action, but it would have to be adult swim like.
      • They could put on some of the live action shows based on Anime...

        Well, OK, most of those are inappropriate for television (as were the Anime they were based on). I'm guessing there must be some out there besides La Blue Girl, though...

    • That's a really bad use of the offtopic mod that was used with the parent post. How is it off topic to note that what's happening with G4 is part of a general trend against narrowcasting? []

      Well, hopefully it will be fixed in metamoderation.

    • You guys are going to hate me...but I was so excited to hear they were bringing Saved by the Bell to Adult Swim. I loved the show when I was a kid, and it's more hilarious now (although for different reasons haha).

      I think the real problems with Adult Swim, and I don't know if they still run these, are 12oz. mouse, Tom, Squidbillies, etc. They were horrible and I went back to watching comedy central during those time slots when they started running them. Saved by the Bell just brought me back.

      But i'
    • Because somebody thought that the good ratings were not due simply to Futurama/Family Guy?
  • Young men (Score:3, Funny)

    by NekoXP ( 67564 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:13PM (#15166829) Homepage
    Isn't it Bryan Singer that young men appeal to, and not the other way around? :)
  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:14PM (#15166837) Homepage
    Just hours after announcing their latest change, the G4 management have decided to update the channel again.

    "Even with the recent changes," Finn said, "we still don't think we're still not reaching our target audience. We've decided that every program will be replaced with a guy sitting in shorts and a wifebeater, drinking a low-quality beer. The guy will occasionally scratch himself, and of course the wifebeater will be covered in the requisite motor oil and pit stains. We feel this'll really gel with the 'masculine audience' we're striving for."

    Audiences will have to wait for the fall season for "Guy in a Wifebeater", but focus groups are already responding by vomiting.
  • by Perseid ( 660451 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:21PM (#15166912)
    You mean to tell me that the shiny video-game box can be used for non-interactive media?

    How strange.
  • by adam.dorsey ( 957024 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:22PM (#15166922)
    Wait a second... G4 was about technology? Dude, I had no idea!

    Next thing you know, people will be saying that MTV was originally designed for music videos... *shudders* The world is all crazy, Mommy...
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:24PM (#15166937)
    I thought the G4/G5 CPUs being replaced by Intel CPUs. Some technology just don't know how to die gracefully.
  • I didn't know Bryan Singer's middle name was SingerBryan.
    • This is not bad proofreading or copy editing.

      This is part of a new initiative to make slashdot more efficient by posting the dupe in the original story itself. No more waiting a day or two for the dupe!
  • So, it's SpikeTV Lite? When do they premiere Striperella and MXE?
  • by shoptroll ( 544006 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:46PM (#15167161)
    In the near future, G4 will acquire Spike TV. The new channel will be known as G4 Spike TV. Within 1-2 years, the station will be rebranded G4. Six months after that we will see an increase in programming of such things as "The Martha Steward Show"...
  • meh (Score:3, Funny)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <aaaaa@SPAM.y[ ] ['aho' in gap]> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @02:51PM (#15167211) Journal
    I have my G5 power mac. I could careless about the status of G4.
  • 'Attack of the Show' will be relaunched in June with a scaled-back focus on technology.

    I don't see how they can do that; there's hardly any technology focus left on the show.

    The only thing I still watch is X-Play. They've apparently dropped Anime Unleashed. Even the shows I used to watch on G4 before the takeover are either gone (Portal, Eye Drops) or I just stopped caring (Cinematech).
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @03:09PM (#15167352) Journal

    An old penny-arcade comic commented on how games are now marketted at the cool kids. Not the geeks anymore.

    I recently played the new Tomb Raider and I noticed something. In the first game she was a geekie kinda girl. Sure physically fit and rich but you could tell she would rather read a good book then go clubbing. A dork with tits.

    But over the years she been getting further and further away from that to the point where she now seems to have some "cool" dudes hanging out with her and having totally changed her way of talking.

    It seems to me very clear that this game is being marketted at a different audience. This is a game for cool kids who look, or at least think they look, like the characters in the game. Geeks need not apply.

    The reason is offcourse obvious, marketshare. If you got the geek market then obviously you want to expand that to the non-geek market and so you add some stuff, remove some stuff and then wonder what the fuck happened because nobody is watching anymore.

    I like to call the effect, BBC program being raped by the yanks. BBC is geekie. They got ugly losers losing in the game that is life. Wether that is red dwarf or scapheap challenge it is about fat sad people being normal.

    Give that to an american producer and he will attempt to cool it up. Search for Red Dwarf american pilot for a real horror show. The american version of scrapheap challenge removes the team factor (instead having the nightmare of all geeks, the being picked by the team leader leading to the horror of being the last one picked, remember that from school?), adds meaningless radiochatter and camera movements and in general looks like a show that feels american. Ugh.

    Sadly it sells. Face it, we as geeks are not a big enough group. Even if a product is successfull at targetting us it is only a matter of time until some person looking for promotion suggest altering it to appeal to a larger audience.

    Old tv shows don't die, they just get reworked to appeal to more and more people until finally nobody watches anymore.

    MTV has become a joke for being the music station that no longer airs music. It was so much a joke that other stations sprang up to replace it. Now they too are starting with more and more non-music. Why? Because we got this insane law that forbids us from shooting people from marketting.

    • Wait, we have laws against shooting marketeers? Now you tell me! Seriously, though, a lot of things are based on growing market share. I guess it's the inherent greed in the system.

      You've got a demographic...but wait, if you just alter a few things, then you'd get more people (and money). As you described, things get altered and altered until finally you've pissed off every demographic you had -- they identified with your product, and as you've altered it so much, they are alienated by it. Afterwards,
    • Ok, I think you're full of crap and here's why:

      1) The entire point of the *new* Lara Croft is that she's more realistic. Sure it's still a blow-up doll, but at least it's something that a real woman could look like with a huge dose of plastic surgery and talented make-up artists. Maybe. But it's a dozen times better than the old Lara Croft who had basketballs for breasts. This change has nothing to do with geeky/non-geeky, it's just a long-overdue response to the criticism the character has taken since
      • He's not talking about Lara Croft's physical character design. At least, I didn't interpret it that way. I interpretted it as the character's personality. Granted, I haven't played anything since the second one (and the demo for the new Legends), but that's just what I took away from his comment.
    • The american version of scrapheap challenge removes the team factor (instead having the nightmare of all geeks, the being picked by the team leader leading to the horror of being the last one picked, remember that from school?), adds meaningless radiochatter and camera movements and in general looks like a show that feels american. Ugh.

      The vast majority of Junkyard Wars was much closer to the show than what you are describing. What you are describing is what happened right before the show went off the air.

  • I can still remember back in the day when this channel was ZDTV... I was all excited when my satellite provider added a new computer channel that I stumbled on one day. I remember watching Dvorak argue with people, seeing hardware reviews, news programs... it was cool to be a nerd.

    Then ZDTV turned into TechTV and it was still good. I loved The Screen Savers with Leo and Patrick (and Kate before that), Call for Help, plus the news and hardware reviews (Fresh Gear)... even the X Play show was cool back
  • Not the pro wrestling version of Starcade (although I wouldn't put it past G4 to do that these days).

    I'm talking about the classic video game "game show" from the early 80's with Geoff Edwards.

  • Technology and gaming shows don't pull in enough viewers to support a network? Holy crap!
  • This is great news!great news and I can'''t wait for it.
    for it.
    for it.
  • A few years ago when I first came across G4 it was really fun. It was all about games and all the shows had a real "we love games" kind of attitude. There was also some pretty good unintentional comedy (Starcade, although I would occasionally find myself getting into the competition on that show). But then when they bought tech tv they ruined both channels. Now there's almost nothing about games and evn when they do talk about them they almost exclusively talk shit. If I love games why would I want to watch
    • you are right it was all about Sumi Das...rawr show me that new stuff honey
    • While I agree Webb is overrated, her attraction isn't in her appearence. Physically she is attractive, but nothing you wouldn't run into daily at college. Thats part of the attraction though, it makes the random gamerkiddies feel she's more obtainable and 'real', unlike your average hollywood atention-seeking-barbie. Mix in what is seen as an attractive personality(though is really just onscren persona) and you have mass obsession.

      As for the majority of your post, I do agree. I wasn't a big fan of G4TV beca
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrCopilot ( 871878 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:57PM (#15168367) Homepage Journal
    Why is this happpening Again.

    AOTS, ICONS, and Xplay are the only shows worth a damn left on that network. And then only when focused on Tech.

    The only thing I can think of is that their ratings are higher for Street Fury (Occassionally I will stop here until the host speaks) and that other crap fox show and the man show then the tech used to bring in. They think this will translate into daytime viewers. Idiots.

    Don't ditch the Tech shows. Improve the tech shows. How about some hosts who have actually read through their material before they read it off the telepromter. How about leaving ICONS the hell alone, I enjoy that show consistently because they are ICONS to me and its like a tech history lesson for my wife in only a half hour. How about some actual budgets. How about NeverMind I'll just watch the podcasts of your old techTV employees.

  • I hope this channel gets wiped off the map. Back when it was Tech TV, I use to watch almost every show (Screen Savers, Call for Help, etc..), and when they merged with G4, there were some interesting additions (including Icons which is the best damn show on that network). Now it's Star Trek, Man Show, and Attack of the Show which caters to brain dead college kids, and X-play which is a basically 99% repeats, and God-awful comedy skits that take up 3/4 of the show. Rot in Hell G4
  • Apparently because they knew G4 wasn't as good, and wanted to kill off the competition. It's too bad they couldn't have just made their network better.
  • We need SlashDot TV (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @10:34PM (#15170260)
    Come on people, there's got to be somebody out there that can make that happen - take the best of what G4 cast off, and create a true technology channel.

    Do the kinds of programs Discover and History don't - Popular Science and Popular Mechanics (especially those "top secret" specials). Concentrate on computers and video games... Leave the sports video game coverage for G4 - they turn every E3 into a giant commercial for EA sports, anyways.

    Profile the geeky side of celebrities, whether it's some actor spending endless hours on WoW or a jock who sits up late into the night playing Star Wars Galaxies.

    We also need news - not like anything anywhere else, but the happenings on your latest MMORPG or the most recent shuffling of developer houses among publishers. News about betas and bugs, virii and easter eggs. Sure other stations may get around to having a special on the quest for the X-Prize, but we want to know the juicy details AS THEY UNFOLD.

    TechTV probably got three times the viewers G4 did, but TV execs are morons. It's an old boys network, and they just don't get the target demographic. Others have mentioned the ruination of Adult Swim, and more obviosuly, the parallel with MTV's descent into vidiocy. We've seen the unfailing ABILITY of these jackasses to turn a good thing into crap, and their complete INABILITY to see the terrible result for what it is.

    I never tune into G4 anymore. Even X-Play is unbearable, and everything else is Spike TV rejects. Ugh. It needs to just go off and die.

    G4 is dead. The time for SlashDot TV has finally come!!!
  • Hmmm... I think G4 has a problem, and here it is:

    - They wanted to target gamers. Being marketers, they can only think of anything in traditional demographic terms. Gamers are mostly young men. So, they created a network for young men, about games.

    - The problem is, young men already watch other networks, and by focusing only on young men they alienated everyone else who played videogames. They soon found that videogamers, on the whole, would rather be playing videogames or watching TV than watching TV about
  • Hey, here's an idea: why don't we all just stop caring? You want tech content? Go online! There's a ton of stuff out there already between podcasts and videocasts. Hell, between Revision3 and the Leo Laporte Multimedia Empire, I probably get a good 3 to 4 hours of entertainment a week. Add into that your Command N's, your Digital Life, your RocketBoom. And that's just scratching the surface.

    Its funny to me to hear everyone bitch and moan about how G4 and Comcast screwed up TechTV. Who cares?! Stop co
  • I received TechTV up until right before the whole G4 shakeup, and by the continually worsening news it sounds like I'm not missing much.

    Seeing Extended Play turn into the crappy X-play was bad enough. Adam Sessler used to be genuinely funny, and they used to put out a decent amount of reviews...then somebody decided the show needed breasts, and it all went downhill from there.

    (On that note, I fail to see why anyone finds Morgan Webb attractive. She looks so decisively average it hurts, add in her ridiculo
  • by Retired Replicant ( 668463 ) on Friday April 21, 2006 @11:40AM (#15173935)
    Honestly, I have watched a lot more G4 since they started running Star Trek TNG re-runs, and now TOS re-runs (I watch the Saturday uncut episodes, not the 11pm Star Trek 2.0 with the annoying chat bar and stupid "stock" ticker). However, that is going to get old as soon as I have seen all the re-runs once, and then they start repeating.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun