In Depth

G4 Sets Summer of Originals

Poker Show, ‘Sexy Ladies,’ ‘Web Soup’ Join Cable Lineup

Sexy ladies and poker geeks are joining the primetime lineup at Comcast Entertainment Group’s male-skewing G4.

The cable network today will announce greenlights for “2 Months, 2 Million” and “The International Sexy Ladies Show,” with both series set to premiere this summer. They join “Web Soup,” the clip-based spinoff of “Talk Soup” unveiled by G4 last week, as part of the network’s most aggressive summer slate in years.

G4 executives had hinted at the programming expansion back in February, when word leaked out that the network was trimming staff and cutting down on the frequency of daily shows “X-Play” and “Attack of the Show.”

Neal Tiles, president of G4, said the changes last winter were all about making the new shows possible.

“We weren’t making cuts because of the economy or the bottom line,” he said. “It was about redeploying our resources into more original programming. This is definitely our biggest summer for originals.”

Mr. Tiles said G4 will use its live coverage of two big summer events—the E3 software convention and Comic-Con—to serve as launching pads for the three new shows.

First up: The June 7 premieres of “Web Soup” and “Sexy Ladies Show.”

The latter series will air Sunday nights at 9:30 p.m. as part of G4’s “Duty Free TV” block of programs imported from around the world. “Sexy Ladies Show” will feature bizarre and wacky clips of women from around the world, interspersed with commentary from comedians.

“In some ways, it’s like the international version of ‘The Soup,’” Mr. Tiles said. Clips might feature women wrestling in honey, getting their toes stuck in bowling balls or struggling to get their cars out of mud.

“It’s almost like fetish TV from other countries,” he said. “In and of themselves, these shows wouldn’t work for us. But as part of a clip show, they do. It’s just amazing what other countries are calling television these days.”

Among the comics signed to participate in the clip-mocking: Doug Benson, Steve Byrne, John Caparulo, Mitch Fatel, Jo Koy, Sherrod Small and Alex Zane.

Later in the summer, G4 will use Comic-Con coverage to hype the planned August premiere of “2 Months, 2 Million,” a docusoap chronicling the story of four professional online poker players. The quartet have given up their everyday lives on the East Coast to move to Las Vegas in an attempt to net $2 million from online poker betting.

“They deferred Ivy League educations because they’re making millions in high-stakes online poker,” Mr. Tiles said. “They’ve pooled their resources and they’re now in Las Vegas living a life they don’t lead at home.”

The four poker geeks have rented an over-the-top Las Vegas mansion, where they’ve set up a 24-hour war room for betting in multiple poker games around the world.

“They’re geeks at home, but in Las Vegas they’re rock stars,” Mr. Tiles said. “The guys themselves are the G4 audience. They’re cynical ubergeeks who show off with their intelligence. And now they’re living a fantasy life our viewers wish they could live.”

All the money the players are betting is their own, not G4’s, he added.

“In our first week of taping, they lost $600,000. By the end of the week, they had made it back,” Mr. Tiles said. “We’ll see how it all turns out.”

Park Slope Productions produces “2 Months” in association with G4. Paul Reitano and Terrance Sacchi are executive producers, with Laura Civiello producing for G4.