G4 Sets Summer of Originals
Poker Show, ‚ÄòSexy Ladies,‚Äô ‚ÄòWeb Soup‚Äô Join Cable Lineup
Sexy ladies and poker geeks are joining the primetime lineup at Comcast Entertainment Group‚Äôs male-skewing G4.
The cable network today will announce greenlights for ‚Äú2 Months, 2 Million‚Äù and ‚ÄúThe International Sexy Ladies Show,‚Äù with both series set to premiere this summer. They join ‚ÄúWeb Soup,‚Äù the clip-based spinoff of ‚ÄúTalk Soup‚Äù unveiled by G4 last week, as part of the network‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúX-Play‚Äù and ‚ÄúAttack of the Show.‚Äù
Neal Tiles, president of G4, said the changes last winter were all about making the new shows possible.
‚ÄúWe weren‚Äôt making cuts because of the economy or the bottom line,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúIt was about redeploying our resources into more original programming. This is definitely our biggest summer for originals.‚Äù
Mr. Tiles said G4 will use its live coverage of two big summer events‚Äîthe E3 software convention and Comic-Con‚Äîto serve as launching pads for the three new shows.
First up: The June 7 premieres of ‚ÄúWeb Soup‚Äù and ‚ÄúSexy Ladies Show.‚Äù
The latter series will air Sunday nights at 9:30 p.m. as part of G4‚Äôs ‚ÄúDuty Free TV‚Äù block of programs imported from around the world. ‚ÄúSexy Ladies Show‚Äù will feature bizarre and wacky clips of women from around the world, interspersed with commentary from comedians.
‚ÄúIn some ways, it‚Äôs like the international version of ‚ÄòThe Soup,‚Äô‚Äù 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.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs almost like fetish TV from other countries,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúIn and of themselves, these shows wouldn‚Äôt work for us. But as part of a clip show, they do. It‚Äôs just amazing what other countries are calling television these days.‚Äù
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 ‚Äú2 Months, 2 Million,‚Äù 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.
‚ÄúThey deferred Ivy League educations because they‚Äôre making millions in high-stakes online poker,‚Äù Mr. Tiles said. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôve pooled their resources and they‚Äôre now in Las Vegas living a life they don‚Äôt lead at home.‚Äù
The four poker geeks have rented an over-the-top Las Vegas mansion, where they‚Äôve set up a 24-hour war room for betting in multiple poker games around the world.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre geeks at home, but in Las Vegas they‚Äôre rock stars,‚Äù Mr. Tiles said. ‚ÄúThe guys themselves are the G4 audience. They‚Äôre cynical ubergeeks who show off with their intelligence. And now they‚Äôre living a fantasy life our viewers wish they could live.‚Äù
All the money the players are betting is their own, not G4‚Äôs, he added.
‚ÄúIn our first week of taping, they lost $600,000. By the end of the week, they had made it back,‚Äù Mr. Tiles said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôll see how it all turns out.‚Äù
Park Slope Productions produces ‚Äú2 Months‚Äù in association with G4. Paul Reitano and Terrance Sacchi are executive producers, with Laura Civiello producing for G4.