TV That’s Unplugged: Comcast Cancels G4TV Nearly a Year after Revival

After almost 1 year the time has come, G4TV has officially been unplugged from the network as Comcast has announced the cancelation of the network along with it’s shows, X-Play, Attack of the Show and much more. I was very saddened by the news that G4 is yet again being canceled after it’s first run ended 7 years ago (2014). I was filled with excitement when it was announced they’d be back with Adam Sessler as a main host for X-Play while also bringing in online personalities I support like The Black Hokage and The Completionist to help freshen up the cast. But sadly I think the strengths that made G4 a juggernaut of gaming media along with how sensitive the world is at social commentary I slowly found myself losing interest in the content they would put out. I was a huge X-Play viewer as Attack of the Show while funny was never my real bread and butter; Morgan Webb and Adam Sessler were my idols for gaming journalism in my teenage years as I always wished I’d be able to work in their field.

Dave Scott’s memo on G4’s shutdown
TBH’s statement on the shutdown – 10/16/22

Now a huge question to me is what really caused the cancelation of G4. It had a very strong start with “A Very Special G4 Reunion Special” which had many faces from the first incarnation of G4’s core programs back to trade stories and celebrate the channels comeback. After that special everything took off with X-Play and Attack of the Show returning to be the dominate forces on the network with some filler programing like the iconic Ninja Warrior returning; the show had a raw, unedited version streamed live on YouTube and Twitch. Viewership was strong at the beginning but a couple months in one X-Play segment would shake the network starting the decline of it’s strong start. I’m going to timeline some events that may have inspired top names like The Black Hogake to depart the network before its cancelation had even happened.

What The Frosk: January 11, 2022

On January 11th, 2022 during a live episode of X-Play with all 4 main host on set, Frosk would make a “pipe bomb” statement that was out of the blue. While starting a discussion about the declining health of Red Dead Online Frosk broke out with a pre-approved topic discussion of the sexism in video game culture. Her main focus was how disgusting men are towards woman in gaming media which is not fully wrong but she drags it out and does what I call a “Kanye” where she was trying to make a good point but either said it poorly or stretched it out far past the point being valid. She also makes point to the disadvantage that woman face behind the screen with her name dropping all the female writers on the network while forgetting to mention the President of G4 is also a woman (she had also stepped down before Comcast canceled the network). Now I do not think her topic was wrong to speak on by my main issue is I watched X-Play for the content, I do not care much for political opinions or subjects unrelated to direct gaming, I am like many of the viewers turned away after a show becomes very preachy which unfortunately is what started the viewership decline along with a huge amount of backlash from the male side of the gaming community and many other groups of people who didn’t like this hot take. You can also see the discomfort that The Completionist has throughout this rant which leads me to believe all but Frosk and the editors knew this was happening as Frosk recently revealed in some tweets that she was given the green light for this segment but afterwards face creative challenges due to the negative reception.

The Blair Herter Project

Blair Herter Tweet – 1/11/22

Soon after the rant had aired the network was swarmed by both backlash and support. One of those who highly supported the “pipe bomb” was Blair Herter, the vice president of content partnerships and brand development for G4. He would tweet out this now infamous sign of support the same day the video had dropped where at the end he says “If you don’t HEAR the below unfollow me and don’t watch us. We’re not for you.” 2 months later however that support seemed empty when Herter left G4 to take an executive position for Team Liquid in the Netherlands.

The Republicans

Adam Sessler was a menace during his original run as the host of X-Play with his unfiltered personality that really brought out a raw opinion in the gaming media circle. Well he has kept that same energy if you follow his Twitter like I do then you would have caught this tweet he put out where he said “Republicans are stupid, racist and drink piss.” Now this tweet itself didn’t hurt the company but did reflect a bit of the culture that you may have experienced if you worked at G4. To follow this up today a great YouTuber by the name of Drunk 3PO put a compilation of tweets Adam has been sending back to people poking fun at him after g4’s shutdown. He does a great job explaining in depth some more information on the shutdown as well!

Adam Sessler’s Republicans Tweet – 1/11/22

Flowers on the Grave

Not even a year latter my X-Play hoodie now becomes an artifact of a hopeless project lost due to many conflicting interest. I can still say I am saddened to see it go but also horrified at the information slowly rolling out. I hope to see many of the content creators bounce back since many of them put all their marbles in on this revival. In celebration of a short life I linked a playlist full of classic reviews from the original X-play for you to enjoy.

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