SYFY Channel Is Making a Comeback

by on November 10, 2014

in Entertainment

Syfy Channel TV newsSyfy is coming along like ball busters with their up and coming programming over the next TV season or two. And yet this last week Syfy claims to admit to screwing up about adding reality TV programming over the last several years, replacing sci-fi content.

Yet that content change has brought the network into the limelight and is now doing well financially.

I don’t believe their recalcitrant statement, but I believe what the network execs are doing is trying to save face and make amends to their old fan base. The fan base that felt abandoned when the net started dropping everyone’s favorite shows in lieu for all the wrestling and ghost hunting shows.

And now that sci-fi and fantasy programs are making the successful rounds on other networks, Syfy had been focusing on reality programming.  Right now, they’re behind the eight-ball in regards to having a full slate of content.  For the moment.

But why would a network whose name embodies that very form of programming not have that much sci-fi in their schedule? And what’s up with that name that sounds like sci-fi, if pronounced the way they hope you would? Let’s take a quick look back.

Syfy (then called Sci-Fi Channel) had hired Dave Howe in 2001 to help them break out of a rutt they were in. Back then Syfy was known as the Star Trek or Star Wars network and the ratings weren’t anything to shake a stick at. What they aired was old, comfortable content that a small core of fans loved watching…  but those relatively few fans were not enough to keep a network afloat with their advertisers.

Howe’s experience with resurrecting the BBC was perfect for the then-called Sci-Fi Channel. One of the first things they set in motion was to rename the network to something that they could copyright, considering the old term was a global term.  So they bought the name Syfy from a peer’s website and rebranded to that spelling. It was unique and it was now all theirs.

As the early years progressed, change sucked for the fans, but the reality programming and what not was paying off for the channel and in 2009 Syfy started hitting benchmarks for itself, setting their own records.

The plan, as Howe put it back then, was to do what was necessary to get viewership for the network, and then to take the monies made from programming and reinvest it into good science fiction at a future date.

They branched out into the digital content world and nabbed advertising dollars with reality programming.

Howe’s word was kept and that future date is now. Syfy is rocking it with what they’ve begun to offer viewers.. and that’s getting back to good, fun, science fiction and fantasy.

But in recent days Syfy is being quoted as saying they blew it with their fans when they jumped ship on them for a proven money maker like reality TV and wrestling.  (But remember, they needed to do that so that they could reinvest in the namesake of the network.) And they are more or less announcing that they are looking to “re-own” the sci-fi genre.

And they are (trying to) doing that.

The recent efforts started with shows like Warehouse 13 and Helix. They have a slew of new shows coming for sci-fi fans including 12 Monkeys, Ascension, Childhood’s End, The Expanse and Hunters.

All offerings have a decent lineage within the genre of sci-fi, including The Expanse, a recent book series that I’ve been reading and find rather entertaining.

SYfy is committed to once again be the go-to source for good sci-fi and fantasy programming. Like they said they would back around 2001.

I think the fans that never left will be happy. The reality and wrestling fans will probably be pleasantly surprised. And with the power of NBC and Comcast behind the net, all they really need to do is make (much) better Saturday Night movies.

And that’s that.

{ Resource: insidetv.ew.com }

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: