When G4 originally began airing in 2002 it was amazing and way ahead of its time. For lack of a better descriptor the original line was basically the gaming community on the internet transformed into a TV station. There were Top 10 lists, reviews, live interactive chat shows, machinama using MMOs, cheats, and video game cut scenes, just because.
Almost all of those original shows were low-budget, and clearly made by a talented and fun crew of people who just wanted to give the video game community the pop culture voice it deserved. Unfortunately all good things had to come to an end, and as soon as G4 merged with Tech TV, both fantastic channels were lost forever, and the current shell of a channel called G4 was born.
Even with the turn away from great gaming television the channel managed to strike the cord for another, much more lucrative market, boys age 13-34. Of course there was still gaming programming, but the focus of the channel moved more towards a generic broad audience appeal, and it never really grew.
Now the other foot is about to drop, and the borrowed time G4 earned by airing Ninja Warrior, Cops and Cheaters reruns has run out. According to Variety, the new head honchos are eyeing an upgrade:
The NBCUniversal-owned cabler is undergoing a rebranding, according to sources, that could involve a name change and take G4 in a direction reminiscent of GQ, the magazine for the “modern male” whose interests span beyond the dorm room or messy bachelor pad. The guy-centric net is mulling a more sophisticated look while remaining true to its tech and vid game roots. Brand refresh aims to bow in early 2013.
Of course there is some lip service to continuing on the remain true to its tech and video game roots, but that probably just means they will keep covering Comic-Con and E3 for the publicity.
It is a shame the original promise of G4 never came to fruition, but in all honesty it never really had a chance. The channel was ahead of its time, but the internet has become almost as big a TV these days, and people are deciding what they want to watch and when, which is better anyway. YouTube channels like the Nerdist keep the original G4 vibe alive, long after the current husk of a channel withers and dies.
Hopefully the new channel will be worth watching, and we can say something good can come from these ashes.