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Before G4, there’s ‘B4G4’ — Help shape G4’s TV relaunch with weekly web series, instant fan feedback

By Benjamin Bullard
B4G4 Logo for G4 TV

The imminent return of G4 TV after a six-year hiatus is fast approaching, with the network laying the foundation for a hugely anticipated relaunch sometime this summer. But before the geeky home of all things tech and gaming reemerges to tickle our funny bones (probably via haptic feedback) with new scheduled content, there’s a little bit of online buzz building to do first.

That’s where the fans come in, thanks to the oven-fresh launch of the all-new B4G4 web weekly series, a content-loaded lineup that promises to get everyone back in a G4 frame of mind — before the network flickers to life later this year with new TV takes on old-school greats like X-Play and Attack of the Show!

Starting with today’s first episode and arriving each week thereafter, B4G4 hits G4’s YouTube and Twitch channels with a taster’s choice of new content ideas and all-around silly programming experimentation, with G4’s social feeds wide open to hear from fans about what’s funny, what’s flat, and what’s just plain weird and wild. Introducing B4G4 from what looks like the bare-walled confines of a rental house he’s squatting in is G4’s (allegedly) new interim CEO — a dude who’s clearly not ready to hear that Pokémon aren’t real or that TV costs money…even as he swills hand sanitizer from a boss-level power mug.

Take it away, Mr. CEO (that’s Jerry_XL for all you savvy, socially-networked kids):

Even at a laid-back outfit like G4, Jerry (played with admirable realism by YouTube comedian Gus Johnson) isn’t gonna be CEO for long if he can’t get a lock on how to pronounce Kevin Pereira’s last name…or how to prop up a vision board crafted with all the love and care that’s typically set aside for something really ambitious (like, maybe, a middle-school homework assignment).

So what’s really going on here? How does B4G4 usher in a whole new era of G4 TV? Well, says head of brand (and longtime G4 do-it-all) Blair Herter, it’s all about reaching out to fans on the platforms of 2021; about giving future G4 viewers a direct say in shaping a fresh take on the experience that old-school fans remember from the network’s crazy comedy days of the 2010s.

“We really want to give the audience the opportunity to build and create this platform with us,” Herter tells SYFY WIRE. “The best way to put it is, we’re now entering the ‘alpha/beta’ phase of this network’s development, where audience participation, audience feedback, audience hopes, dreams, likes, and dislikes are not only accepted; not only asked for — but valued and appreciated.

“We live in a different world than the previous version of G4, and we want the audience to feel ownership and participation in building this thing with us…[and] I think the answer is to always be ‘on,’ always be listening, always be casting. People consume at a rapid pace, but we’re always gonna be listening and always evolving, and always having a conversation with our audience.”

That means G4 wants to hear from fans with every weekly installment in the B4G4 series, which from this day forward will start showing up at G4’s online video platforms, like clockwork, every week. Expect to see new original sketch comedy, game reviews, talent collaborations, music parodies, irreverent eSports takes and more — all as a way to start getting your needed G4 fix online, before the network main event kicks off later this year.

“I think the biggest part of what B4G4 is, is to really hear what the audience thinks these shows should be moving forward, and how those iterations and expressions should look,” explains G4 head of content Kevin Sabbe. “That’s why, before G4 comes back, there’s B4G4.

“The biggest takeaway from that is that G4 hasn’t changed. The names and the faces are gonna be a little different. [But] the tone, the vibe, and the style is going to be very, very familiar to the audience who knows it and loves it — but also very familiar to an audience who doesn’t know it and love it yet.”

In other words, it’s time to get your opinions ready and let G4 know what you think as the pre-game era of B4G4 whips to life. Fans can submit feedback on all the new content through G4’s Reddit community as well as Twitter and Instagram, a step that essentially immerses anyone and everyone in the actual formation of the new network. B4G4 also ties back to the viral #G4NeedsTalent campaign, which is giving a fresh batch of candidates the opportunity to audition for network glory by taking part in the content series — both for on-air hosting and off-air show producing and writing roles. 

At the end of the day, fan feedback is the name of the game. Or, as Jerry_XL so elegantly puts it, “Tell us what you hate! Tell us what you love! Tell us what you’d be willing to spend your discretionary income on!”

Catch new B4G4 webisodes every week at YouTube and Twitch, and watch for the return of G4 TV — complete with fresh episodes of X-Play and Attack of the Show! — when the network returns this summer.

(G4 and SYFY are both owned by NBCUniversal.)

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