G4 returns to airwaves after 9 years



G4, beloved for its content revolving around nerd culture and video games, returned to the air November 16th.

   One of my fondest childhood memories was watching Japanese competition shows Sasuke and Unbeatable Banzuke with my parents on a little-known cable channel called G4. While not the most mainstream of channels, G4 was the consummate nerd culture channel (a term I use endearingly, not mockingly) as it focused on gaming, and helped kickstart the careers of stars like Olivia Munn, who was co-host of the channel’s flagship series Attack of the Show.

   However, G4 didn’t have the longest lifespan. It was launched in 2002, and just 12 years later it was gone, replaced by the Esquire Channel. While gaming geeks everywhere were saddened by the channel’s removal, it’s safe to say that YouTube filled the void that G4 left behind. But some always held out hope that we’d see the return of G4.

   That happened on November 16, when G4 returned to the airways for the first time in nine years (although the channel technically ended in 2014, its original content was pulled off the air in 2012) with a marathon of Sasuke. A bunch of the channel’s old shows are returning with reruns of Sasuke and Unbeatable Banzuke as well as revivals of Attack of the Show! and X-Play on the air. The latter have seen their iconic hosts, Kevin Pereira and Adam Sessler, return, and Olivia Munn has been in talks to return to Attack of the Show! as well. 

   For older gaming aficionados, the return of G4 is quite simply marvelous, as there’s finally a TV channel dedicated to gaming and geek culture again. As someone who grew up watching the channel, I honestly can’t describe how happy I am to see it back. When you literally squeal over a channel returning to TV, you’re 100% attached to it. 

   Younger gaming fans won’t feel out of place either, as Kassem G, considered to be the best interviewer in YouTube history, is one of the new hosts of Attack of the Show. Popular gaming commentary YouTuber Scott Wozniak, or Scott the Woz, will have blocks of his videos broadcasted on the channel as well. 

   While G4’s return is something to be celebrated, I worry that it might get lost in the shuffle. At this point, you can easily find celebrations of gaming and gaming culture all over YouTube, with it being free rather than a cable TV channel. The best way I can see G4 returning to its naughties peak is to continue tapping into the YouTube and Twitch market. The channel has been streaming on Twitch extremely often and already has YouTubers on its staff; if it keeps going in this direction while also focusing on its main programming, G4 should be around for a long time to come.