Way back in October 2012, geeks and fans of the G4 Network were told that their ever popular shows X-Play and Attack of the Show were being axed. Why, pray tell, would a channel supposedly aimed towards the geek/gamer crowd want to get rid of the two original shows that defined it as a channel?
The answer is simple…re-branding.
Men already have SPIKE TV. Women have Lifetime. But G4 landed somewhere in the unisex middle with Ninja Warrior, Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan, Attack of the Show, and Cops. G4 wasn’t quite defined as the “geek” channel, but we all know that’s where most of us went, especially when it came to Comic Con coverage. Clearly the heads of G4 aren’t content to cater to the ever growing “geek” culture. Geeks have the Siffy (SyFy) channel for that right? (Yeah, I know. You can stop laughing. I was serious there…sort of).
Capitalizing on geek and pop culture wasn’t enough for G4. They must stand out! They must be different! They must do what no other channel has done before! They must cater to the more “sophisticated” male! Those are the men being ignored on the television spectrum! It’s not the video game-loving “young adult male” viewers they want anymore. It’s the suit-wearing young business class who loudly talk into Bluetooth ear pieces while grabbing a venti whatever at Starbucks, and take conference calls while sitting in the train’s quiet car. That’s the next IT demographic.
Seriously, folks. None of us should have been surprised by this. Why? Because G4 is owned by none other than NBC Universal. (Insert orchestral swell). Those are the same great folks who brought wrestling to the SyFy Channel. They are experts in knowing what geeks want. Is it any surprise that they’d want to consolidate all of their nerdom to one channel?
SyFy is remaining what it is now (which is I’m not sure what that is exactly), and those former G4 shows we adored are being sent off to the Artic Circle on a raft. If NBC Universal was smart, or at least employed critical thinking skills, they would have just migrated G4’s popular geek programming over to the SyFy Channel. It would have upped SyFy’s geek cred AND taken some of the viewership disdain away from X-Play and Attack of the Show’s cancellation. They could have been villains and heroes AT THE SAME TIME. It’s brilliant, right? Not to mention, it would have removed some of the bad taste viewers have in their mouths with SyFy’s current predisposition towards reality TV and claiming previously internationally aired shows are “SyFy Original Series.”
So where do geeks go from here?
G4 clearly doesn’t want us and we have no idea what SyFy actually wants. Who will claim the geeks? Signs are pointing towards…TBS. At least, sort of.
TBS seems to be the channel that picks up lost shows. They bought the rights to Conan after NBC let it go and they picked up Cougar Town when the ratings were slipping and it looked like ABC was going to can it. Wanting to save fan-favorite shows is something every geek can relate to. Right? So maybe TBS will save the geeks too?
They already air reruns of The Big Bang Theory and now their new reality show, King of the Nerds, is another addition to their sort of geeky lineup. Granted it has that Survivor feel to it and it is the reality TV we’ve all grown so tired of.
Could this be the start of something? Or, given that their motto is “TBS-very funny,” are they just laughing at our expense?