Last month rumblings began that G4, the network launched in 2002 as a platform for programming about gaming and, later, more general geek culture, would be rebranded by parent company NBCUniversal as what Variety described as a more “sophisticated” direction “reminiscent of GQ, the magazine for the ‘modern male’ whose interests span beyond the dorm room or messy bachelor pad.” While continuing to focus on a young male audience, the channel will apparently be given a new look and a potential name change.
And today the network announced that it’s ending two of its major shows, the game-centric “X-Play” and the channel’s flagship live program “Attack of the Show,” which helped launch Olivia Munn’s career and is currently hosted by Candace Bailey and Sara Underwood. According to G4, both shows will continue through the end of the year “and will look back at their most memorable moments as we lead up to their final episodes.”
With well over a thousand episodes each, Attack of the Show! and X-Play have defined gamer culture for a generation, serving as the launch pad for prominent personalities including Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, Chris Hardwick and Adam Sessler. Attack of the Show! debuted March 28, 2005 and from the start was the ultimate guide to everything cool and new in the world of technology, web culture, gaming and pop culture. X-Play made its debut almost two years earlier, on April 28, 2003 (on G4’s previous incarnation: TechTV), and immediately became the go-to destination for young men seeking the latest video game news, honest reviews, hands-on demos and exclusive video game trailers and footage.
While “Attack of the Show!” has had its highs and lows over the years, it occupied a unique space on air and covered topics that rarely otherwise got much play on TV. But these days, the web is so firmly entrenched as the home for these subculture discussions that TV is hard pressed to catch up — and, ironically enough, gaming, comic books, genre films and viral videos have become mainstream enough that niche outlets dedicated to covering them now have a lot of competition.