-> '''Zodd:''' ''Don't you think we can do a little better than DTV?''
-> '''Phil:''' ''Why, what's wrong with DTV? It's television for demons, we're demons -- it's perfect.''
-> '''Zodd:''' ''Yeah, but you know how these specialty cable networks are: they start out real good, but then they lose their focus and things go downhill real quick. [[NetworkDecay Just look at what happened to G4!]]''
-->-- ''WebVideo/BerserkAbridged''

'''G4''' (also known as '''[=G4TV=]''') was a television network known for its focus on [[VideoGames video games]] and geek culture, and infamously associated with [[NetworkDecay network decay]]. Since the inception of the network, it had gone through some [[TroubledProduction serious growing pains trying to find an audience and gain ratings and advertisers.]] Simply put, the channel was a failed exercise in OldMediaPlayingCatchUp in television channel form.

The Comcast-owned channel was launched on April 24, 2002 by Charles Hirschhorn. The lineup entirely consisted of gaming related shows such as ''Arena'' (featuring multi-player gaming competitions), ''[=G4TV.com=]'' (interactive talk show connected with the website), and ''Cheat!'' (cheat codes and walkthroughs; think GameFAQs on TV). The channel was struggling to find viewers and get into more homes, as it wasn't available on many cable/satellite providers. The long {{Infomercial}}-like presentations of video game trailers didn't really help much, either.

In 2004, Comcast bought out [[Creator/TechTV [=TechTV=]]] (a low-rated, but beloved technology/computer based channel) and merged the channels into [=G4TechTV=], gaining [=TechTV=]'s channel slots on different providers. Much of the [=TechTV=] identity and brand was flushed out, saved for ''Series/XPlay'' and its hosts, ''The Screen Savers'' (which would later become ''[[Series/AttackOfTheShow Attack of the Show!]]''), and ''Unscrewed with Martin Sargent''. The merger lasted less than a year before the channel was changed back into G4, but not without gaining infamy with the [=TechTV=] fans and much of the audience the channel was aimed towards. Despite the huge amounts of change and upheaval, the network still managed to have a dedicated fanbase for the original G4 programming and personalities.

In 2005, Neal Tiles was named the new network president. He attempted to broaden the channel's scope into a general male-oriented channel in the vein of Creator/SpikeTV. During his reign, more off-network reruns started to air such as the much-maligned ''Series/{{Cops}}'' and ''Cheaters'' repeats. However, this was also the period ''Attack of the Show!'' and ''X-Play'' hit their strides and became the flagship shows of the channel. ''Attack of the Show!'' hired a new co-host Creator/OliviaMunn, and became an Internet/pop/geek culture sensation and ''X-Play'' broadened its scope to encompass all of video game culture. ''Series/NinjaWarrior'' became the network's highest rated show. Despite all of this, there was still struggling behind the scenes. Layoffs continued to save money, the studios were relocated to same building with Creator/{{E}}! and the Style Network and downsized. And then on November 1, 2010, [=DirecTV=] dropped the channel from its lineup, saying that the ratings didn't justify carrying it.[[note]][=DirecTV=] subscribers might also notice that several other networks in the Comcast/[=NBCUniversal=] umbrella had moved to higher tiers in 2012 so this might have to do with carriage fees more than anything.[[/note]] By 2012, only Fuel TV, an extreme sports network which eventually became Fox Sports 2, had lower measurable ratings than G4 among cable networks which had their ratings measured.

Then, in 2012, the final shoe dropped. With the Comcast[=/=][=NBCUniversal=] merger, G4 gained yet another new president Adam Stotsky (who works with Bonnie Hammer, who is associated with the [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci-Fi Channel]]'s network decay). Adam Sessler and Kevin Periera, two long time hosts, left the network (Munn already left in 2010 for a successful acting career). The two flagship shows, ''X-Play'' and ''Attack of the Show!'' were canceled and ended their runs on January 23, 2013, effectively ending all G4 studio programming. The network was to be rebranded into the Esquire Network on April 22, 2013, with ''Esquire'' magazine as the partner.

The Esquire Network went through it's own DevelopmentHell[=/=]TroubledProduction period: The date of April 22, 2013 passed and the network didn't launch yet to the lack of programming made and it's launch date was moved to later that summer. G4, by that point became a channel on a robo-feed, going through it's library of original programming, acquisitions, and year-old ''X-Play'' re-runs. Finally settling on a date of September 23, 2013, Esquire Network was set to take over G4. So then when the date arrive and after all the promotions about the Esquire Network and the firings and cancellations, G4 was replaced with... [[Film/{{UHF}} nothing!]] [[ScrewedByTheNetwork Absolutely nothing!]] It turned out that [[http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nbcu-switch-up-esquire-network-624127 [=NBCUniversal=] decided to use Esquire Network to replace Style Network instead of G4 because it had a broader carriage than G4, along with removing one duplicative network among NBCU's four women-focused networks ([=DirecTV=] carried Style Network but not G4).]][[note]]And this was announced with ''very'' little notice, so you can imagine the fury amongst Style Network's fans.[[/note]] [[http://xfinity.comcast.net/learn/programming/ Comcast began removing G4 from some of its systems in January 2014]], although several cable providers such as Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Verizon [=FiOS=], and Dish Network dropped it early.

Throughout 2013 and 2014, only AT&T U-Verse and a few other smaller cable providers still carried the channel to fulfill their contracts to Comcast and NBC. The syndication deals for ''Series/{{LOST}}'', ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', and ''Cops'' ended in September 2014, and the schedule primarily consisted of moldy-old episodes of ''X-Play'', the Anime/MarvelAnime shows, ''Web Soup'', and other G4 originals; all while running advertisements for the Esquire Network and direct-to-consumer ads with the loneliest phone lines in the industry. NBCU finally shut down all G4 channel operations and it left cable on November 30, 2014, though the infamous "zombie feed loop" which befell Nick GAS on Dish Network for two years after its demise everywhere else is [[Quotes/WhyWontYouDie currently being repeated]] with AT&T U-Verse, which has insisted on sticking to their contract and keeping G4 on until January 1, 2015.

The website [=G4TV.com=] is now a skeleton portal hosting the network schedule, a freemium game portal that's little promoted and visited, and shows the withering bones of the network's dormant social media presence. Some providers replaced the channel with sister network Cloo, while others gave the space to budding networks such as UP and Pivot. ''Series/AmericanNinjaWarrior'' is the sole survivor of G4 and airs on both Creator/{{NBC}} and Esquire Network, and is no longer produced by G4's quasi-parent company G4 Media, which now exists solely to maintain the [=TechTV=] and G4 program libraries.

And for the few G4 die-hards out there, here's some cold comfort: the [[http://www.wwd.com/media-news/fashion-memopad/petit-public-7327408?src=nl/mornReport/20131231 ratings for the Esquire Network]] are currently unable to be measured by Nielsen because they're "too low to meet its “minimum-reporting standard". This will probably eventually change, though for now the launch of the Esquire Network and death of G4 is one of the most tragic cable stories since FNN (the Financial News Network) was sold for parts to CNBC in 1992.

See Series/{{Nerdist}} as a direct SpiritualSuccessor (and also has many G4 personalities working there). Also see Website/ScrewAttack as well as the many gaming personalities on Website/YouTube and Website/{{Twitch}} and the notable are cataloged here on TVTropes under Main/VideoReviewShow and Main/LetsPlay.