G4—the network once known as the go-to destination for video game-friendly programming—is ending its gaming programming. The network is informing its employees in meetings today.
We've heard that G4's major video-game and geek-culture shows, including X-Play and Attack of the Show will be cancelled today by the network. A source close to the situation says that it's not clear if the shows will last through the year or be cancelled immediately. The rumor is that the network will shift to something more like an "Esquire" or "GQ" channel. This aligns with reports that NBC Universal was looking to rebrand the channel as a lifestyle network focused on "the modern male."
Tweets from G4 staffers and industry insiders earlier today have hinted that a major shake-up is coming:
Launched in 2002, G4 started off with a programming slate that consisted almost entirely of game-centric programming. After acquiring TechTV, the network found success with X-Play, a recurring show that featured reviews and comedy based on new game releases. Longtime co-host Adam Sessler left X-Play earlier this year, a move that signaled the end of an era for many. We'll update this story as we learn more.
We're hearing that the network has booked conference rooms for today in order to inform groups of employees of their fate and of the future of the network.
A TV Guide report confirms that Attack of the Show and X-Play will be ending production at the end of this year. Both shows will be airing new episodes until December, with farewell shows and celebrity guest stars showing up as the programs wind down.
G4 has issued its own statement on today's news.
G4's two longest-running and defining series, Attack of the Show! and X-Play, will be ending their run at the end of 2012. Both shows will include original episodes through the end of the year, and will look back at their most memorable moments as we lead up to their final episodes. A rotating lineup of guest co-hosts including John Barrowman, Michael Ian Black, Josh Myers, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel and Horatio Sanz will join AOTS hosts Candace Bailey and Sara Underwood, and X-Play hosts Morgan Webb and Blair Herter as part of the farewell shows.
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. The year-end celebration will take you back through highlights of these landmark shows' history, including its exclusive live-from-the-floor coverage of San Diego Comic-Con and E3.
Both long-running shows helped define, as well as expand, the pop culture and gaming TV experience for a generation. We hope you've had as much fun watching them as we have had making them, and sincerely hope you join us in bidding a fond farewell to Attack of the Show and X-Play's as we look back over the next two months and head towards each series' finale.