G4, a channel that has established itself as a premier destination for all things geek culture is apparently going to undergo a bit of a change. NBC/Universal is looking to shift the channel from its nerdy roots to a more mature, GQ-inspired look. This news comes courtesy of Kotaku.
By undergoing a more "modern male" approach to programming, NBC/Universal is perhaps aiming at a more high-caliber demographic. The current iteration of G4 puts the emphasis on males, ages 12-34. The rebranding will be taking place early next year. G4's most popular program is "Attack of The Show" which has seen the exodus of its hosts Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn in recent years. While video games and tech may still have a home with the new G4, it's too soon to tell whether or not the transition will actually retain its current scheduling.
Cinema Blend is quick to point out that a guy-centric channel already exists in the form of Spike, not to mention The History Channel and The Discovery Channel. While "X-Play" and "Attack of The Show" are not strictly male-oriented programs, they do, in fact, highlight geek culture and technology, popular topics among male consumers and viewers. What NBC/Universal have planned to set the new G4 apart from rival channels like Spike or The Discovery Channel is anyone's guess.
In Forbes' post-mortem for the channel, it is mentioned that G4 was, itself, the result of rebranding when it transitioned from TechTV to G4. The daytime time slots of the current G4 channel are populated by shows like "Cops," "Campus PD" and "Cheaters," shows that have nothing to do with geek culture, the channel's admitted and established demographic. The channel also has featured solid coverage of the E3 convention, as well as Comic-Con.
There are many different ways the rebranded G4 can go. Some exciting ideas for programming can be found in the aforementioned Forbes article, however; here are a few more:
- Increase gamer-centric programming to include narratively-driven shows based on popular franchises. "Dragon Age" already exists in an animated universe, perhaps greenlight a short series on various titles that replace one-another in a certain timeslot, similar to what AMC does with its rotating series.
- Host TED-inspired forums for various concepts and ideas. From technology to gaming to media, these forums could then be live-streamed to the internet or placed on YouTube to spread virally, further boosting the profile of the channel.
- By taking on a more GQ-inspired approach, perhaps incorporate a show hosted by Deadspin or Bleacher Report writers to cover sports. Let them have a bit more of an edge and have them focus on hot issues, as well as lesser-known stories in the sports world.
- Adult-themed cartoons in the vein of "Archer" or "Family Guy," shows that are cheap to animate but also appeal to a wider, more mature audience. By taking the Adult Swim approach to late-night entertainment, G4's more "mature" animated series could work.
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