Goodbye, G4. Hello Esquire Network

Get ready for a lot of “Party Down” reruns and cooking shows as the rebranded network kills all video game-related programming for shows targeting “the modern male” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

After the defection/exit of Adam Sessler in April and Kevin Pereira in May of last year, and the September announcement that the network would try to attract the “sophisticated male” viewer, it seemed likely that cable’s brief experiment with a channel dedicated to video games was coming to a close. It’s not like we were expecting some kind of “G4 2.0″ at this point, but it’s nonetheless disappointing to have what THR’s piece is effectively describing as Bravo for the obsessively-groomed male.

Back in September, G4’s owners, NBC-Universal, promised to stay true to the network’s gaming/tech roots, but that’s clearly not in the cards, with such programming as the Drew Barrymore-produced underground cooking show “Knife Fight” and Anthony Bourdain’s travelogue “The Getaway” topping the newly-announced programming. Reruns of “Party Down” and “Parks & Recreation” will join the return of the sole G4 holdover “American Ninja Warrior” for its fifth season. The piece does point out that the new network will attempt to expand the foundations of G4’s tech and gaming-centric programming, but the initial lineup laid out in the piece don’t really bear that out.

It’s a necessary dollars and cents thing for NBC-Uni, who have a proven track record of making with this kind of programming on Bravo, and it’s a safer bet than struggling to capture the increasingly diverse gaming audience. Still, as someone who was a fan, it’s sad to see nothing of the old G4 in this new incarnation.

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

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