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In brief: G4 is staging a comeback. The American television network that once catered to tech-loving young adults will returns to linear television and streaming services later this year. G4 said it will also continue to create channel-specific content for social media platforms and YouTube as they’ve been doing for the past year or so.
G4 got its start in early 2002 as a rival to TechTV, another 24-hour cable and satellite network that churned out content geared for the tech community. As fate would have it, the two merged a couple of years later.
The network spawned plenty of memorable shows during its initial run including Attack of the Show! and X-Play. The Screen Savers, a carryover from the TechTV merger, stuck around for one more year before the final episode aired on March 18, 2005. G4 itself would cease broadcasting on New Year’s Eve 2014.
Outlets to consume tech-themed video content were few and far between during G4 and TechTV's respective heydays. YouTube only launched in 2005, and aside from the occasional feature on local news when a major trade show came to town, tech wasn't talked about all that much in mainstream media.
Arguably more important than the content itself was the careers that some of these showed helped launch, and what these people have gone on to do since that time.
Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb, the co-hosts of X-Play, remain instantly recognizable to a certain demographic, as does Leo Laporte from The Screen Savers. Geoff Keighley, perhaps best known for establishing The Game Awards, cut his teeth at G4. Kevin Rose from The Screen Savers went on to create tech aggregator Digg with Jay Adelson. Attack of the Show! co-host Olivia Munn went on to become one of Hollywood’s leading actresses.
G4 reactivated its Twitter channel in mid-2020 and teased a return, and now, it’s official.
11.16.2021 pic.twitter.com/6OvQPJNsO6— G4TV (@G4TV) October 12, 2021
In announcing its comeback, G4 said it will return to the channel lineups of Cox, Xfinity TV and Verizon Fios on November 16, 2021. The network will also be available to stream over Philo, and there’s even mention of a multi-year promotional and commercial partnership with Twitch.
As for what’s on the docket, G4 said it will produce new editions of legacy shows and exclusive content including X-Play, Attack of the Show!, Boosted, and Ninja Warrior as well as shows catering to esports and Dungeons & Dragons. Fan favorites including Adam Sessler and Kevin Pereira are also returning, we're told.
The landscape has changed drastically over the past seven years, however, and there are now several platforms that cater to the tech and gaming communities. Will G4 once again be able to tap into what made their programming so likable the first time around, or is the market simply too saturated these days?