It was viewed as a done deal as early as December of last year, but today NBCUniversal made it official: the company is rebranding G4 as the “Esquire Network.” The switchover will happen on April 22nd and will see the network become “an upscale Bravo for men.”
We kind of threw up in our mouths, too, if it’s any consolation.
The new Esquire Network will shy away from video game-centric programming as well, as if that wasn’t made perfectly clear by the cancellation of both "Attack of the Show!" and "X-Play." In their place you can expect new programs like “The Getaway,” a celebrity traveling show, and “Knife Fight,” which is not as awesome as it sounds, since it’s just another chef face-off type of show. Although, the press release announcing "Knife Fight" mentions an “underground, after-hours cooking competition where talented chefs go head to head in front of a rowdy crowd of celebrities, critics and die-hard foodies.”
Quick, someone get Billy Zane on the horn!
We wish all those who will be affected by the switchover the best of luck. From a gaming perspective, G4 was really the only option for televised gaming coverage, so to see it disappear is a bummer. And as for NBCUniversal’s justification? Well, honestly, it doesn’t make a lick of sense:
“Realistically, guys who are into gaming are not necessarily watching television,” said NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer. “If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, ‘let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for.’”
But hey, at least Esquire Network is planning to syndicate episodes of "Parks & Recreation" and the under-rated "Party Down." "American Ninja Warrior" is also return for its fifth season. The fate of "COPS" reruns remains to be seen…