Tidbits From Around the Dial
Earlier this year Esquire Network announced it would be taking over programming of the Comcast’s G4 Network. Esquire’s focus would be on fashion, food and lifestyle programming for metrosexual males—like Spike, but with less punching. G4, of course, was the video game-centric network founded in 2002 as TechTV. Esquire let the ax fall slowly on the computer nerds, first canceling the network’s long-running shows like “X-Play,” “Attack of the Show” and “American Ninja Warrior.” Then, barely a week before Esquire was set to start airing in April, it took a step back and delayed its debut. G4 waited out the summer, coasting on the fumes of its reruns. In September Esquire finally decided it was time launch its new network. Barely a week before the manly man programming was set to take over G4, however, Esquire had yet another change of mind. Instead of replacing G4, Esquire would replace a different NBCUniversal cable station—the fashion-heavy Style Network. That left poor G4 sitting in its old slot with all of its programming canceled. It filled up the lonely hours with action shows from NBCUniversal’s back catalogue: “Airwolf,” “Quantum Leap,” Heroes” and “Lost.” On Sept. 23, the network was dropped from Time Warner Cable systems. Cablevision gave it the heave-ho on Oct. 10. Finally, on Nov. 1, Dish Network took the net off its lineup. Comcast, which actually owns G4, has said it will “cease distributing” the channel starting in January of 2014—although no one has actually said G4 is going out of business. But it seems a foregone conclusion. It’s sad, given that the network had a solid identity, that Esquire strangled it in its sleep and never even bothered to cannibalize the corpse—wandering off and eating up Style instead.
Sparked perhaps by news that the Disney Channel is producing a sequel to the ’90s sitcom hit “Boy Meets World,” comes word that TV writer/creator Jeff Franklin has been asked by ABC to pen a sequel to his ’90s smash “Full House.” Whereas “Girl Meets World” will concentrate on the teenage offspring of Cory and Topanga, the “Full House” spin-off would feature Tanner kids D.J. (Candace Cameron) and Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin)—now in their 30s. Franklin told the Newport Gazette that the majority of the cast had expressed an interest in reprising their original roles.
Apparently Syfy was serious when it said it wanted to turn Terry Gilliam’s 1996 cult film 12 Monkeys into a TV series. The network just announced that former “Nikita” star Aaron Stanford will star as Cole, a time traveler from the near future who goes back in time to stop a lethal virus from wiping out most of humanity. Bruce Willis played the part in the original movie. No word on whether Brad Pitt’s memorably nutty character will have a place in the series.
Fox’s “The Mindy Project” continues to be the cool place for Hollywood actors to hang out. In the wake of James Franco’s multi-episode arc earlier this season comes news that actress Anna Gunn (hot off an Emmy win for her turn as Skyler White on “Breaking Bad”) will appear in the show early next year. Gunn will play Mindy’s personal idol, an OB/GYN to New York’s rich and famous. Gunn will appear in the show’s 13th episode.