Smile and Nod

Smile and Nod
Yahtzee Goes to Hollywood: Zero Punctuation Previews on G4's X-Play

Russ Pitts | 13 Feb 2008 20:48
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I have to be perfectly up front about this: I hadn't seen X-Play for about five years until a few months ago. Not because I don't like the show (although I have a particular fondness for the "good old days" when Kate Botello co-hosted), I just a) didn't get cable for a while, and b) didn't watch TV much even after I did. And c) considering I write about videogames all day, watching a show about them seemed to be like never leaving the office - and I love leaving the office.

And there's a fourth reason: I used to work for the folks who made X-Play. Not G4, but TechTV, the network where X-Play first aired (as Gamespot TV), which was purchased by G4 a few years back. Tuning in to TechTV, and then G4, always reminded me of what could have been. So I avoided it. In fact, having completely walked away from my career in television, I was sure I'd never see or hear from those folks again.

So imagine the expression on my face when the show's Executive Producer gave me a call to ask if we could do a deal to play Zero Punctuation on his show. Turns out he and I worked a few desks apart from each other back in the TechTV days and he's now a huge fan of Zero Punctuation. As are Morgan and Adam. As is the rest of the damned world.

Last night, after months of negotiation and a few, brief, madly scrambled hours of preparation on both sides of the continent, the recently re-launched X-Play featured a brief preview of this week's Zero Punctuation review of Sim City Societies, marking the first appearance of Zero Punctuation of a projected many on the show. We at The Escapist couldn't be happier with the arrangement, and the folks at G4 have been great to work with, and are just as excited.

Here's the scoop: X-Play will be airing a sneak preview of each week's Zero Punctuation video on their Tuesday night show. Then, at noon on Wednesday, as usual, you can see the full version at The Escapist. X-Play gets a bit of cool content; we get to spread our love to a slightly different audience, and everybody wins - even Yahtzee.

"I'm excited that ZP is getting into new forms of media," Yahtzee says. "It still amazes me how this is all taking shape and putting me in new and weird places of fame and recognition. G4 is a great place for it."

As for rumors Yahtzee doesn't think very highly of Morgan, particularly her shoulders, Yahtzee had this to say: "Morgan has many excellent features, her shoulders being just one of them."

Funny story, but true: Did you know Morgan's first TV job was working as one of my production Assistants on the show The Screen Savers? Now you do.

So there you have it. X-Play serves an audience of about 9 million people each month, Zero Punctuation, about 1.2 million. Combined, that's more than would fit comfortably on my sofa, but we can now all watch together as a short blip from each Zero Punctuation review hits the airwaves every Tuesday night, then wait impatiently for the full video to appear at The Escapist the next day. I want lines around the block for people waiting for these videos. The Wii got lines, I want lines. I want our servers to crash from people refreshing over and over just to be the first to watch Zero Punctuation each week and post "woo! First11!!1" on our forums (before being banned for doing that because we hate that). Really, people, there's no end to the awesome on this one.

And there's another upside: It's gotten me to start watching X-Play again. I still miss Kate, and I still fondly remember the free Cup-O-Soup in the TechTV lunchroom, and wonder why, oh why, I ever walked away from all that glamour. But Adam and Morgan know what they're talking about, and it's always exhilarating to watch TV about gaming that isn't done by people who obviously don't play games.

Russ Pitts is Acquisition and Production Manager for The Escapist. His blog can be found at www.falsegravity.com.

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