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Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the but-they-had-this-awesome-movie-about-a-ferret-monster dept.

Sci-Fi 742

brumgrunt writes "Has Syfy fallen out with science fiction altogether? A look at its latest scheduling shows that it's further away from its roots than ever. 'There's still a lot of the older sci-fi content on the airwaves, but it's slowly being phased out, and forget about original programming. After all, this is the programming crew who ruined Caprica by stuffing it into the Friday night death slot and splitting the season into two parts. These are the geniuses who killed off Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. These are the people who wrecked Farscape, one of the most inventive and fun sci-fi shows to ever be on television. They also ended Mystery Science Theater 3000, only the greatest show ever invented by robots in space.' Is this now as good as it gets?"

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Fantasy is now king (3, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313600)

From a lot of recent articles I've been reading, Fantasy Books are now king while interest in science-based fiction is almost null.

So if the same for books is also true for television, then it makes sense for Sci-Fi Channel to rename itself, and then move towards more fantasy shows. Fantasy is more profitable.

Re:Fantasy is now king (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313640)

They can keep the Fantasy stuff. I just want them to get rid of the rasslin.

Re:Fantasy is now king (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313728)

and get rid of the ghost hunters and other pseudo reality tv.

On second thought, they can keep wrestling... But only if they do it Kaiju Battel style.

http://kaiju.com/home.htm

Re:Fantasy is now king (1)

Ralphus Maximus (594419) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313994)

They can keep the Fantasy stuff. I just want them to get rid of the rasslin.

This. As a fan of both Sci-Fi, Fantasy and wrasslin, when they started showing the ECW show my first thought was, "What the frak are they thinking!" And it's still what I think about wrasslin on a Sci-FI channel. They don't mix.

Once I win the lotto, I'd like to buy the Syfy channel, rename it back to Sci-Fi, and take them hack to their roots. And send the wrasslin back to Spike.

Cheers,
RM

Re:Fantasy is now king (2)

memojuez (910304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313662)

Sci Fi rewrote its name to appeal to Non-Sci-Fi & Fantasy Geeks. So it only makes sense that they change their programming to cast a bigger net into the demographic pool.

Re:Fantasy is now king (2)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313816)

I thought they changed it because they couldn't copyright/trademark "Sci-Fi".

Re:Fantasy is now king (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313938)

I thought they changed it because they couldn't copyright/trademark "Sci-Fi".

I was convinced they changed it because "Sci-Fi" doesn't look nearly as stupid as "Syfy".

The list of great shows they have killed off tells me that stupid is something they like.

Maybe the copyright/trademark deal is really important to them. Maybe they're afraid someone will create another network also called "Sci-Fi" and .. gasp! ... actually play science fiction. That would really humiliate them. I remember the last thing I saw on Syfy, it was some lame movie with actors you never heard of and really cheesy effects about a giant alligator some group of guys was trying to hunt down. Way to go guys! I am so glad you cancelled Mystery Science Theater so you'd have time to air such a masterpiece.

It's like they are in competition with the US Government to see who can run themselves into the ground first.

Re:Fantasy is now king (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313936)

Sci Fi rewrote its name to appeal to Non-Sci-Fi & Fantasy Geeks.

Non-Sci-Fi "Fantasy" people are the antithesis of geeks.

Being a Non-Sci-Fi fantasy watcher is mutually exclusive with being a geek; they are not geeks.

Re:Fantasy is now king (2)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313690)

I dont read loads of sci fi...but i always liked reading it more than watching it, due to what is often meh acting and special effects (i understand this is due to budget and such, but i dont care for it)

also, id rather play a fun scifi video game. mass effect 2 was pretty good, imo. /not a sci fi snob, just like what i like //beer snob, however.

SyFi is to Science as MTV is to music (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313940)

"Fantasy" and "Sci Fi" have been confounded as long as the genres have existed. Check out any issue of "Weird Tales" from the 30's.
Note how many true Sci Fi authors have gravitated to to name "Speculative fiction" cf. they don't want their lofty ideas to be constrained
by the weights of "Science".

These are the reasons I abandoned most sci fi long ago. I think the best Sci Fi explores Limits, can thrive on the limits of science. In the movies
which is more compelling, laser sword battles or "open the pod bay door HAL". Firefly had an episode "Out of Gas", the Bowie movie
"Moon" all had to deal with physical reality. Contrast to the BS of "Transformers" or any superhero movie. Why do I care?

Re:Fantasy is now king (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313998)

Fantasy Books are now king while interest in science-based fiction is almost null.

Yes. Our local Barnes and Noble has four shelf sections of "Paranormal Teen Romance", plus one of "New Paranormal Teen Romance". Half of the SF section is now vampire-related. So is a big fraction of the romance section, plus some of the main fiction section. All the vampire books combined into one section would be impressive. One of the goths who works there says that vampire book sales are down, but zombie books are picking up.

At retail, SF is either space opera, paranormal, or reprints.

As unfortunate as it is... (1)

Zephiris (788562) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313610)

Yes.

Re:As unfortunate as it is... (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314020)

I think a better question is why would they stay on their original vision now that they have a noticeable brand?
Why not chase the ratings and the money?

Seriously, it is your job as a studio exec to get the ratings and the money, so why wouldn't you look at what people watch and try and follow that?

Yes (1)

JamesonLewis3rd (1035172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313624)

I am in complete agreement.

MST3K (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313626)

This was the only reason I watched them ever. What a brilliant show and probably the best thing I've seen on TV.

Re:MST3K (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313894)

>>>I turned off my fucking cable and disconnected the antennae.

Why on earth? Antenna TV isn't the greatest thing but it is FREE so you might see something worthwhile, like reruns of Outer Limits, Stargate, or new episodes of....um... yeah can't think of anything. (shrug) I like supernatural.

>>>MST3K was the only reason I watched them ever.

The Twilight MSTie was hilarious. Better than the actual movie. Sci-Fi Channel was my favorite channel back when they aired these shows: Voyagers, Buck Rogers, the Hulk, Dark Shadows, Quantum Leap, Sci-Fi Trader, and the Zone (like a news show about cons, movies, and behind-the-scenes special effects).

SFC also produced a few good originals. Like Stargate when it was resurrected from the dead, Sliders (years4-5), Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Sanctuary, Lexx.

What you say? (5, Funny)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313630)

"and forget about original programming."

You could not be further from the truth! I'm very much looking forward to Mega BearLion vs Giant Robo-Piranha 2: The Revenge!

Re:What you say? (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313672)

For this reason, I could exclude SciFi channel from my Sci-Fi movies recording rule and be much better off for it.

TCM or AMC are much more likely to show Sci-Fi classics than SyFy.

Although the local PBS station does show old B movies. However, even those seem better made than the self-produced stuff from SyFy.

Farscape (1, Troll)

MSG (12810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313636)

I have no idea what you are going on about. I've been watching Farscape for the first time recently, and it's among the least original and most awful "science" fiction I've seen.

Re:Farscape (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313698)

I feel the same about SG:U, another show about those dumb swirly gateways, oh and now their trapped on a ship! Original. To each their own I guess.

Re:Farscape (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313860)

I think the working title was Battlestar Voyager.

Re:Farscape (1)

Groghunter (932096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313714)

Wait 'til season 2.

Re:Farscape (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313778)

Wait 'til season 2.

An old roommate got me to watch some of it with him. I never enjoyed it, and I even thought the puppets were a strong point.

Re:Farscape (0)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313970)

Seconded. A friend gave me the entire series as a boxed set two years ago, and I can't wade through it. Inventive puppet design be damned; halfway through season 2 I just gave up, and feel no compulsion to pick it back up again.

Re:Farscape (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313882)

I felt the same way about the Joss Whedon Cowboy Bebop clone. At least that was cancelled after one season for being terrible.

Re:Farscape (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314068)

Thou hast blasphemed

Disconnect the fucker (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313642)

I turned off my fucking cable and disconnected the antennae.

I has become clear that TV will all eventually run programs like "Ouch My Balls!" Pretty soon we'll see the antique "Ouch my Balls!" on PBS.

Even the science shows on PBS seem to be dumbing down - I mean, Come on Nova! WTF?!?

Re:Disconnect the fucker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313730)

Thats only cause the repugs want to cut all funding for PBS.

Time to appeal to the lower end of the IQ scale.

Re:Disconnect the fucker (2)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314050)

If you can't do your wonderful public service without money from a government, your plan is not sustainable in the first place.

Likewise if your government job is actually *important*, you won't stop doing it just because Congress stopped funding your agency.

Re:Disconnect the fucker (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313794)

I love science shows!

"We're gonna need another Timmy!"

What a fresh take.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313652)

...on an unfairly neglected topic.

Wrestling now (4, Informative)

guspasho (941623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313656)

They killed SGU so they could put wrestling in its place. What more evidence do you need?

Re:Wrestling now (2)

GodricL (1898284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313798)

ECW had a zombie... and a vampire. That counts as Sci-Fi right?

Re:Wrestling now (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313996)

To be fair, I think wrestling has more interesting physics in it than SGU did.

Re:Wrestling now (2)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314014)

They probably killed SGU because it wasn't giving them the ratings they wanted. Viacom wanted to squeeze wrestling into a potentially profitable space; they saw that lots of 18-29 aged folk watch Syfy and figured they could just patch the hole left by Stargate. Clearly one block of 18-29'ers is not representative of the whole thing since the experiment flopped, and now they're aggressively backpedaling.

That doesn't really excuse the reruns of Law & Order: SVU on the station though, does it?

Re:Wrestling now (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314054)

SGU was terrible.

I really wish they ran a live version of the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe in place of it.

SG:Atlantis and SG1 were great shows. SGU just lacked any of the wit and fun those shows brought us. I watched SG:A and SG1 because they were fun, last thing I really needed was a giant bummer.

Friday night death slot? (1)

Jordan (jman) (212384) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313660)

While I agree with most of this, how is Friday night the death slot? Stargate SG-1 ran for 10 years in the same Friday night slot didn't it? I am however still unhappy that they killed off Atlantis and Universe.

Re:Friday night death slot? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313786)

It is the death slot on most networks, that is because a lot of normal people go out and do things on Friday night. sissy fissy does not have that problem, rather they have nerds write full page articles bitching about a network most of us stopped even bothering to look at over a decade ago.

Re:Friday night death slot? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314062)

I think it's more accurate to say that Friday night is one of the most popular nights to go out. Still, I'd wager heavily that the number of people going out is dwarfed by the number of people who don't. It only seems like *everyone* is going out when your circle of friends is single.

Are you stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313668)

scifi = science fiction
syfy = wce wrestling

Until it's cheaper, yes (5, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313670)

From what I can tell, SyFy doesn't hate Sci-Fi so much as it hates shows that require money to produce. That's why it's chock full of Ghost Retards type shows and horrible Canadian subsidized horror movies.

That said, the costuming reality show (Face Off) has been fairly interesting, even if the producers are hitting the "reality show drama" notes quite a bit too hard. There is some skill and technique on display, and I would be ecstatic if they added little segments about the different techniques they're using "this material takes a couple of hours to set and require different kinds of paint, but allow for more realistic mobility..." instead of the "But Person X is hitting on Person Y, and that's making Person Z jealous" manufactured bullshit.

You mad bro? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313674)

just wonderin

Syfy is to science fiction... (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313684)

Syfy has become to science fiction like MTV is to music television. Or TechTV (now "G4") is to technology.

It's a shame. I used to love their original programming. Now... wrestling? Really?

Re:Syfy is to science fiction... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314038)

TechTV did not become G4. Comcast bought TechTV for their distribution contracts and kept a little bit of the programming.

Re:Syfy is to science fiction... (5, Interesting)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314066)

And Syfy's still better off than TLC, which has dropped any meaning associated with those three letters and shows endless permutations of freak show reality TV gawkery. Network decay [tvtropes.org] is an ugly thing.

Sci-Fi's "Original Content" Will Not Be Missed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313688)

I will not miss B-rate actors, C-rate scripts and F-rate over-used, oft-repeated plots.

I'm speaking of course only about the made-for-TV movies. Some of their series lineups were pretty good, but piss on the rest.

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313692)

They don't "love SciFi" and anyone who thinks they do is an idiot. They're a business, they love making money. They're learning more and more that making a SciFi show that's profitable is extremely difficult, so they're putting on my non SciFi programming to keep their network afloat. And they didn't "ruin" any of those shows, the shows cost a lot of money to make and didn't draw enough of an audience to support their budget. As to why SciFi as a genre is dying these days, it's a genre that caters almost exclusively to the geek crowd, a crowd that increasingly does not watch broadcast television. Whether it's torrents or DVRs, a huge percentage of fans don't watch the shows when they're broadcast, driving advertising rates for those programs into the ground. Considering the high production costs compared to regular dramas due to special effects, the market is dying and will continue to do so unless something changes. Meanwhile, something like pro wrestling is dirt cheap to produce other than the license, and the vast majority of fans will watch the broadcast because it's actually live and they want to know how it turns out.

Caprica? Seriously? (3, Insightful)

Kagato (116051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313694)

SyFy didn't ruin Caprica. Ronald D. Moore did. The show sucked Baltar's Balls. The presense of Eric Stoltz was not enough to fix horrible story telling.

"Is this now as good as it gets?" (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313708)

this is a question whose answer reveals less about reality and more about the psychology of whomever answers

They are a business (2)

papasui (567265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313712)

They love money. If SciFi programming isn't bringing in the viewers they will show what does.

Re:They are a business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313850)

And since they show ghost hunters and wrestling, instead of science fiction, I've blocked their channel on my TV, and their advertisers don't get my eyeballs.

Isn't capitalism wonderful?

Re:They are a business (1)

zildgulf (1116981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313978)

The execs at SyFy think they can get more money by going away from SciFi but they are too greedy to understand that if you pursue a new audience demographic that tons of other competitors have just because it is much large that your current demographic then you end up with a smaller audience share because you will lose to your more established competitors. I saw this effect with the "boy band" craze in pop music. Tons of stations abandoned all rock music for "boy bands" and tons of stations went out of business once the fad was over. The surviving stations changed format to easy rock, grunge, or classic rock and survived because they tended to be the more established former rock stations. The Johnny-come-lately stations closed shop. SyFy will likely go the same way being a Johnny-come-lately to join in the non-SciFi audience. They will probably ditch the SyFy Label soon as well.

all about eyes and ad money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35314034)

when most sci-fi geeks are tech-savvy and would rather download the eps, the broadcaster and its dwindling ad revenue will have no incentive to produce original shows.

The Learning Channel - not so much (1)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313732)

So it's pulling a TLC? Moving from educational shows to Say Yes to the Dress, Cake Boss and the most objectionable show in TV history: Toddlers and Tiaras. There's almost nothing left for them to keep their name, it should be rebranded to fit the crap they show.

Re:The Learning Channel - not so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313900)

The Learning Channel? I thought it was The Little Channel considering all of the Little People Shows on the network.

SyFy Channel Saved Me Money! (4, Interesting)

footNipple (541325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313758)

The programming has become so bad that when deciding on a cable tv package the only significant difference (for us) between the tier I ordered and the one above was the Syfy, Bravo and an extra c-span.

I ordered the lesser priced service specifically because I was no longer interested in that channel. So Syfy sucking has saved me $20+/month

It looks like I'll get my science fiction in print and from any number of the streaming services.

Bills to Pay (4, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313768)

"After all, this is the programming crew who ruined Caprica by stuffing it into the Friday night death slot and splitting the season into two parts. These are the geniuses who killed off Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. These are the people who wrecked Farscape, one of the most inventive and fun sci-fi shows to ever be on television. They also ended Mystery Science Theater 3000"

How DARE they cancel that show that nobody liked, and those two shows that had bad ratings. And that other show that had bad ratings. And that nine-year-old show that had a good run for years on their network.

I sometimes get the feeling that Sci-Fi fans are so desperate for more content that they religiously and desperately cling to whatever they get, and in the process make shows into far more than they actually are. It's understandable, and even sympathetic. Then again, so is the network trying to pay the bills.

Re:Bills to Pay (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313844)

So, why run a sci-fi channel if you don't believe (correctly, or otherwise) that sci-fi shows are going to pay the bills?

Re:Bills to Pay (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313984)

Hence the name change.

Re:Bills to Pay (1)

tj_thompson (1959714) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313924)

To be fair, the argument is the ratings were caused by the way SyFy (mis)handled some of those shows. After reading up on it a bit, I'm not surprised they had poor ratings.

Let's Hijack the Science Channel (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313770)

We'll put some fiction on there and call it "science based TV shows". Kinda similar to how History now shows the present (history made today).

Re:Let's Hijack the Science Channel (1)

stacybro (757940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314030)

I actually saw last night that the Science Channel is going to be showing the Firefly series reruns starting in march. Too bad they won't produce new episodes.

They never did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313774)

BSG/Caprica is really the singular exception to their near-continuous crap fest of pseudoscience and really crappy weekly embarrassments to the b-movie genre. They even had that Bruce Campbell movie with the horrible cave-man makeup that was absent camp value.

They have never loved sci-fi and it is sad they got any ratings success with the crap they have been pumping out since day one.

Observation (1)

Urd (198177) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313784)

Or maybe this is the effect of the rise of the "MTV-Geek"? Maybe it's the lack of product placement opportunities that turns away alternative marketing revenue streams?

With my and what I know as many of my friends' affinity for not only watching but also buying sci-fi merchandise, I have found the steady decline rather surprising. Is there nobody that wants our money?

It also seems that Sci-Fi that does get made has progressively been getting more "mainstream". With that it seems that any and all shows I like are getting watered down with soap style love-tangle sub-plots etc...Should I just be grateful that there is no SciFi "reality" show yet?

For killing MST3K, let 'em swing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313792)

Killing MST3K was a capital offense. Gimme back Professor Bobo and Brain Guy (Observer).

Re:For killing MST3K, let 'em swing (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314046)

A lot of the interstitial schtick was getting played, to the point of dreary, redundant unwatchabilty, but the running commentary on the movies could never get old.

Nope (4, Insightful)

whitroth (9367) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313806)

Let's see, come up with interesting shows... then kill them, or ruin them. Then, you've got a specific niche market that you're targeted at, why not "rebrand" yourself, and try to appeal to an overfull market, while treating the folks who made you viable as ignorant , and chasing them away as hard as you can?

*Great* business plan.

But then, most of them a) don't read SF, b) don't understand it, and c) flunked 5th grade science, and know so much about how the world works that they'd electricute themselves cleaning a toaster (you have to clean them? Really? How? Why?)

And on the sf side, as a lifelong sf fan, it *used* to be that there were 10 year or so cycles, where you'd get more fantasy for 10 years, then more sf; the last 15 or so, it's overwhelmingly fantasy. My take is that with the dumbing down of the educational system, and especially the unravelling of the Space Program, kids don't see a chance for them, so they go off into fantasy worlds where *something* can happen, and maybe they'll win the lottery, too.

                      mark

Reality & Fantasy (1)

Nothing2Chere (1434973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313810)

I thought everyone knew that they wanted to put reality TV and fantasy into their programming schedule. This was the reason they changed their name.

That's why I've taught my children to pronounce the new name as "sifee".

n2c here

Re:Reality & Fantasy (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313972)

I thought everyone knew that they wanted to put reality TV and fantasy into their programming schedule. This was the reason they changed their name.

Nope, they changed it so they could trademark their name.

They couldn't trademark SciFi since that was an ordinary term. But SyFy is different and not in the dictionary so they could.

Since people just refer to it as SciFi (and now SyFy) they have a trademark. As opposed to channels and outlets with the SciFi weekends.

SyFy is no longer SciFi (1)

zildgulf (1116981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313812)

The SyFy channel is getting away from SciFi because the execs see the SciFi audience pie slice is "too small". I have seen this happen in other media where the execs feel that their channel needs to get a bigger slice of the audience pie as if they can go up against the "big dogs" like SpikeTV and such. The problem is that they can't win against their competition in that "big slice" and they are too greedy to know that. I guess SyFy will die but someone else will get the idea and restart a new cable channel just for the SciFi and Fantasy fans, but SyFy will have to practically die first and the whole process may take 5 to 10 years to happen.

Advertising demographics trumps genre (4, Insightful)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313814)

It boils down to this:

Science fiction and fantasy programming, no matter how high-quality or compelling, do not draw a sufficiently advertising-targetable, high-spending audience to justify a seperate channel.

In lieu of this, Syfy has chosen the fallback position, which is to appeal to a much broader but reliable audience, young men. Programmers know what shows appeal to this demographic, and advertisers know which products to pitch to them during the breaks.

Thus: Wrestling, ghost hunting, lurid monster movies.

Science fiction is not the only genre or category to suffer. A&E and Bravo were concieved as outlets for artsy movies. MTV used to show music videos and be about, well, music. What kind of programs do these channels show now?

Under the current rules of broadcast and cablecast TV, the situation will never get better. Non-premium channels will get more and more generic and lowbrow. Cheap "reality" shows and infomercials will fill more and more programming slots.

If you really want high-quality SF&F content, you're going to have to be willing to PAY for it. Either on a premium channel, or by some kind of net subscription.

Re:Advertising demographics trumps genre (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313954)

Science fiction and fantasy programming, no matter how high-quality or compelling, do not draw a sufficiently advertising-targetable, high-spending audience to justify a seperate channel.

And let's be honest here, as a lifelong science fiction fan, I have to say most science fiction TV fans vastly overrate the quality of their cult favorites. No, Stargate is not great science fiction.

Re:Advertising demographics trumps genre (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313992)

At some point there will be so many "generic" channels spreading out dull-witted viewers that it will be more profitable to specialize.

It's hard to imagine, with 1300+ active channels coming down from just one satellite network (I'm not making that number up; I can count them on my DirecTV receiver; they include the music channels, but they also include a bunch of 2-way interactive gaming channels and on-demand content channels, some of them 1080p and/or 3-D; there's a literally ungodly fuckload of bandwidth in the sky right now), that this point has not yet been reached and good niche channels still find it reasonable to go lamestream.

Then again, I watch about 8 hours of broadcast a week (time-shifted, natch), and get my teleccentricity fixes from Netflix, whether in disc or IP form, or from other corners of my Roku boxen.

Re:Advertising demographics trumps genre (1)

Synn (6288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314008)

A very good answer. It's really the nature of broadband TV media. Having a channel on a cable box can't come cheap and you're pretty much at the mercy of ad agencies. You either sell out or die.

I'm really looking forward to more private, smaller shows on the internet taking off. I don't see any reason why something like The Guild, couldn't be done in a lot of different settings, especially as the recording/editing technology keeps getting cheaper and cheaper and more homes switch onto using things like set top boxes that support things like Hulu and Netflix.

Stargate (1)

tekgoblin (1675894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313838)

I miss Stargate :(

Re:Stargate (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313958)

So do I. It's too bad they never decided to make any new series after Stargate: Atlantis.

mst3k versus syfy original movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313848)

How awkward to have a show, mst3k, lambasting bad movies while at the same time all of their original saturday night movies would be fodder for mst3k?
I find myself watching this channel less and less. The last original series I liked was Eureka. The last original miniseries I liked was Battlestar Galactica. It's been downhill ever since.
I think their target demographic is 12-13 year olds. Your average high school science geek would laugh at most of the crap they show.

Watch FarScape for free with Amazon Prime (0)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313856)

If you have Amazon Prime, you can now watch all of the Farscape episodes for free. Since I was already a Prime member, I started watching it when it became available.

Re:Watch FarScape for free with Amazon Prime (3, Insightful)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313968)

That's not going to get us new episodes though... the show ended early was the point.

syfy is joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35313870)

I use to watch them all the time, now they are so bad I unlisted the channel on my tv so I don't even have to channel browse over it

It's never been very good at it (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313872)

Summarizer clearly forgets the years when there was no palpable science fiction on the channel and it was all horror shit.

Same as other networks (5, Insightful)

acoustix (123925) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313880)

Look at other "specialty networks": The Learning Channel (TLC), MTV, VH1, etc have all bailed on their original programming and having nothing to do with the name of their network. Hell, even the History Channel has bought into the reality TV bullshit. For the most part all of the networks are showing the same crap now.

Lets not get to romantic about those shows (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313888)

Stargate Atlantis was terrible. Terrible.
SG:U was good but those long breaks between .5 seasons was a killer. We watched every episode of 1.0 but none of 1.5, just couldn't get interested again.
Caprica tried to do too much with too many subplots the first .5 season, they streamlined it at the end but that was too little too late. Toss out the New Cap City crap and go all film noir sci-fi, it might have been more successful.

they've abandoned the market (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313912)

The good news, of course, is that there is clearly an audience for actual sci-fi. Someone WILL decide that they'd like to take that audience and make money selling their eyeballs to advertisers. The audience tends to have a lot of disposable income, too, which makes them a prime target for certain sellers. So rest assured, this problem will fix itself.

Does it really matter? (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313914)

I can just DVR that channel when something interesting shows up on the schedule, if I even reference it. I know from sites like this one and other more in tune sites when something interesting might show up on that channel, the thing is, I use those sites to find it across any channel. After they changed their name to SyFy I was honestly relieved, its is perfect for who they are, some fruity feel good channel trying to cash in on whatever they can but most definitely not bout science fiction.

They have had some good original productions, The OZ and Dune come to mind. Series wise, Stargate and SGA were good to watch, though I admit I much rather watch SG compared to the other two. BSG was good till it started split seasons, then it became annoying. Some of the older shows simply ran their course. They were cult status by the time SciFi mangled them. They have had some original shows, Eureka was definitely out there at times.

  Caprica - get real, name one episode that was worth watching - talk about no connection to the series your supposed to be related too - they could have added vampires and werewolves to it and not missed the marker farther than they did.

Wrestling? Ghost Hunters? (1)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313916)

When they started showing crap like wrestling, ghost hunters and changed their name to that insipid SyFy I knew they were gone for good.

Let's also not forget the tragedy of Babylon 5. They said they were canceling at season 4, so the creators had to rush the show's plot, then they decided afterward to renew a 5th season, so they had to make up new crap completely outside the realm of the original planned plot line.

No (3, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313932)

No, SyFy does not live Sci Fi. I thought they made that apparent with the name change.

Also, SGU was not science fiction, it was Twilight in space with fewer vampires and more tears.

comcast / nbc seems to be doing a tech tv to syfy! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313944)

comcast / nbc seems to be doing a tech tv to syfy!

BBC Copy (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313960)

I think they like stealing good SciFi from BBC. At least Merlin was the actual thing, but Being Human is just disgusting in comparison to the BBC original.

I do enjoy their B movies that they produce on the weekend, they're horrible and poorly written which makes for a good laugh.

This is why NBC should not get the olympics (2)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313974)

After what they did in 2010. I'm all for ESPN taking over. Same thing for the NHL.

No, Syfy does not love Sci-Fi (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313976)

They stopped loving Sci-Fi the second they put wrestling on. Just like MTV stopped loving music the second they switched to reality programing in stead of music.

$Money$ (1)

martiniturbide (1203660) | more than 3 years ago | (#35313982)

...came on, those guys are the love of the $$$$, not because they like Scifi stuff. At least they still offer good productions for us to watch. "Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus"

Correction (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314016)

From the article summary:

They also ended Mystery Science Theater 3000, only the greatest show ever invented by robots in space.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 show is the greatest experiment ever invented by two mad scientists working for a scientific institute here on Earth. The robots in space were created by the subject of the experiments, who at the time was just another face in a red jumpsuit working for the mad scientists.

Also, it hasn't happened yet. It will happen, though, in the not too distant future.

Get your facts straight.

          -dZ.

I asked Linda McMahon to keep WWF off SciFi (1)

Dross50 (1333767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314024)

During her recent Senate run at the GOP Convention, Linda McMahon asked what it would take to get my vote? I replied, "keep the WWF off the SciFi channel". She laughed and said, she didn't work there anymore. So I voted for Rob Simmons.

Does SyFy love Sci-Fi? No, they love M-O-N-E-Y (1)

jpiratefish (1690054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314032)

SyFy is infuriating. I loved Caprica and all that is/was Stargate - sure, they all had their highs and lows, but it was still decent storytelling, enjoyable, and worlds more intelligent than wrestling. My only hope is that some other network starts picking up the shows that SyFy deems unprofitable - if nobody does, we're going to fall into a "sci-fi" vacuum again, and some real garbage will start to creep in before anything really good comes along.

Cable (2)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314036)

Cable channels used to be about narrowcasting to targeted demographics. About eight years or so back, the channel owners started to rethink that strategy. So The Nashville Network (country-targeted) went to TNN and then became Spike, aiming its programming against a broader male demographic and de-emphasizing and abandoning an explicit connection to the music genre. Unless a cable channel has a lock-hold on a very loyal demographic with a great profile for advertisers, it will go to diversifying its programming and slug it out with general interest programming with a more subtle skew.

Many Cable Channels Evolve Beyond Their Name (1)

TonyXL (33244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314042)

MTV - Originally showed music videos, now Real World type shows
VH1 - Originally music vids, now "I Love the ..." and "The 100 Greatest..."
A & E - Originally showed British shows (Masterpiece Theatre, etc.), now reality and edgy syndicated series.
History - Originally documentary, now reality mixed with edgy docu-drama.
Discovery - similar to History
Bravo - Originally arts/drama, now reality
HBO - Originally movies, now split between movies and series
AMC - same as HBO ...probably some more.

What's the point? (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314048)

What is the point in having niche channels, when you abandon your niche? As someone else mentioned, a lot of channels on cable (The Learning Channel, History, Discovery, etc) are just reality TV and conspiracy theory BS. Why even create niche channels, if they don't want to serve that niche? Even the Science channel is bad these days. There are thousands of good science based documentaries that have been produced, but yet every time I try to watch something on the Science Channel it's just that silly "How Things are Made" crap. Seeing how the Cheetos got from a bag of orange shit, to my face, isn't exactly science!

Yeah... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314060)

I turn on Sci-Fi expecting Fiction and get stuff about hunting down ghosts and big-foot. Which would still at least be fiction if the people hunting the creatures didn't themselves act as though they believed in it (and if it had writers).
I turn on History expecting biographies and documentaries and see Ice Road Truckers and other "history in the making" crap that isn't even significant enough in the long run to be considered "news".
I turn on Discovery expecting documentaries and instead get Myth Busters.
I turn on MTV and ... well no. No one expects Music on MTV anymore.

Fork it (1)

lcba (175394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35314072)

Make a foundation and get funds to create a real science fiction channel.

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