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Sunday, October 28, 2012

The death of G4TV

G4TV logo
We've known since September, 2012 that G4TV will be no more.  G4TV as we know it will be cancelled and replaced by a whole new channel (yet to be named) and all new programming.  Variety had written an article (as did many others) that NBCUniversal was planning on remaking G4 to better fit their channel lineups.  The end of G4TV as we know it now was expected to be in the first quarter 2013.  We've also known that G4TV has been the worst rated cable station in the country for a number of years causing cable stations (most notably Direct TV with millions of subscribers) to drop G4 from their lineup causing millions of viewers to no longer carry G4TV programming.  Even with the success of American Ninja Warrior on NBC over the summer, the G4TV numbers for the regional finals were not at all impressive when compared to previous years (meaning it plateaued).  The rest of the shows on G4TV have been on the decline with a constant repeat of syndicated shows like Cops that can be seen elsewhere on constant repeat.  Thanks also to the former president Neal Tiles hatred against female viewers, Ninja Warrior was removed from constant rotation as there were more female viewers than males.  Even after Neal Tiles left the station Ninja Warrior was relegated to a more than 6 month delay as to not compete with their new obsession "American Ninja Warrior" (ANW).
 Ninja Warrior logo on G4TV

Of particular to the world-wide audience of Sasuke was the potential impact this announcement in September was to our favorite show Sasuke.  As you know by now the international name for Sasuke is known now as "Ninja Warrior" (G4TV's name).  G4TV produced the horrible 30 minute edited shows of Ninja Warrior that is then sold worldwide to 150+ countries.  In the past they were the ones responsible for the altered results of Ninja Warrior 23, Ninja Warrior 26 and Ninja Warrior 27.  All shows connected to ANW1-3 which caused International viewer uproar over deleted results on the "official" broadcast of Sasuke worldwide.  As of now, it is unclear at this time if the cancellation of G4TV will directly impact Ninja Warrior.  I'm afraid it might be given that G4TV has not even acknowledge the existence of Sasuke 28 in Japan due to tape in a few short weeks in Japan.

Attack of the show

One gauge in particular I was monitoring with the news from G4's demise was the fate of Attack of the Show (AOTS).  While I am NOT a fan of the show, it was a good barometer of the fate of the network given that it's one of G4's longest running shows and considered it's flagship show on the network.  Now we know BOTH AOTS and X-Play (THE longest running show on G4TV) have now been officially canceled with their final shows both running in December, 2012.  Also the exit of the networks most famous and long-serving hosts in Adam Sessler and Kevin Pereira both leaving the network it's clear that all are jumping a sinking ship.  Now more than ever I'm afraid that G4TV has lost Ninja Warrior in the process.

G4 Representation in Sasuke 21 (Back Row) Mark Witmer, Brian Orosco, Levi Meewenberg. (Front Row) Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn and Luci Romberg ©Luci Romberg

For the international viewers who do not carry G4 networking and don't know who the people are it is of note that AOTS hosts have been in Sasuke before.  The more famous episodes happened in the fall of 2008 when AOTS hosts Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira both were contestants in Sasuke 21 and Olivia competed again in Sasuke 22.

Tohoku Auction was announced by G4's Attack of the Show (AOTS) during Sasuke 27 (From the Sasuke 27 TBS broadcast)

You may also recall when AOTS was involved in raising money for the Tohoku disaster last year and Timothy Coombs was able to travel to Japan and compete in Sasuke 27.  The connection of AOTS to Ninja Warrior has been going on for years.  During AOTS it was announced that David Campbell would be competing in Sasuke 22 when Olivia Munn chose him to represent the USA in that tournament.  They were also the ones responsible for the early "behind the scenes" shows that most early viewers were happy to see.  Since then though most of those specials were gone when ANW came into the fray.

David Campbell, Olivia Munn, Makoto Nagano, Luci Romberg, Katsumi Yamada, Toshihiro Takeda, Kazuhiko Akiyama, Shingo Yamamoto and Levi Meeuwenberg in Sasuke 22 ©David Campbell

Bottom line though, if G4TV is no longer carrying Ninja Warrior on it's station I'm afraid no one will be carrying Ninja Warrior in the United States. If no one is producing those 30 minute shows for TBS to sell around the world, I'm afraid no international viewers will get a chance to see Ninja Warrior 28 and ultimately the retirement of the 10 years of the All-stars.  THAT makes me very unhappy.


Unknown said...

More great encompassed memories, Miss RR, thanks. I kind of miss those ninja warrior behind the scenes, sure I couldn't stand Olivia but everything sucks now in comparison. At least back then they MENTIONED that Sasuke was a real event, now it's almost never mentioned in their broadcasts. They're way too obsessive over selling their own product and not spreading the love.

The end of your blog made me choke a bit. 150+ countries not seeing the end of the All-Stars because of the apparent demise of G4TV, I can't believe the timing! Hopefully someone will pick it up before then. No one is gonna be happy about this, but don't feel unhappy!
Try and remember that we are the individuals fortunate enough to have access to Sasuke in plain original format. As for those who do not get to see 28, it's a bummer but so what? It's like how I've never been on a plane trip, or how some of us never see Rocky Horror Picture Show. They're pleasures we don't know about, and we get along fine without 'em.

Sasuke is everlasting

njdss4 said...

Well, I'll still watch the Japanese broadcast of Sasuke 28, even if I don't understand what's being said, and we'll just have to hope that there are enough dedicated subbers out there to start subbing Sasuke.

Considering how G4 would routinely screw up the show through their horrible editing, it may not be so bad for them to not be involved in the show anymore. As long as the fans are willing to look for the show, they'll still be able to find it.

lampini said...

well I guess some people can post sasuke 28 on youtube or something. Right?

ad uk said...

You would have to hope that TBS will do it . As this is their way of getting ninja warrior out there for other countries to syndicate themselves

ad uk said...

You would have to think TBS will do it . As after all this is their vehicle to get other countries on board for international Sasuke rising .

Rufus said...

This is where a dedicated group of bilingual fan subbers would come in handy...

Arsenette said...

So sorry guys for lunching on posting comments.. LOL I totally missed the notification..

Watch SMF for ways of seeing Sasuke. You know a bunch of us will wake up at the crack of dawn to see it live as it airs :D I won't post where to find it here so don't come looking for it!

No idea what they will do now that G4 is going bye bye.. personally I hated that format but that was the one universally bought around the world. I'm hoping something is done to get it worldwide again.. though the problem still remains with the altered Sasuke 23/26/27 broadcasts..

Pussyfoot said...

Thanks for the great, yet depressing article. Myself, I prefer the full Japanese broadcasts, whether I understand the language or not. I do hope though, that we will be able to find a way to get legal full copies of all of the events at some point. Perhaps because this is suppose to be the final closure, it might trigger a release of such a thing? I'd shell out big bucks for it!!!!

Arsenette said...

You and me both. I've been campaigning for years to get a friggin' DVD and/or Bluray of past events.. :(