Saturday, April 13, 2013
Is there such a thing as channel rehab?
So the Syfy network has been optioning some pretty big stuff this upcoming year. RIngworld Blake's 7 and more Syfy sounds like it may indeed be on the right course. Now let's talk about that stupid stupid name!
Back in the day Syfy was simply the Sci-Fi Channel. The name worked and it stood for what they were going to be broadcasting much like other narrowcasting cable channels did like MTV, BBC America, BET, and Lifetime- Television for Women. At least that's what it used to be. the change to the name Syfy was done to de-emphasize science fiction in their line up. This means they can get a wider audience with professional wrestling, direct to video action films, and other shows that have at most a peripheral connection to science fiction. And they are not alone. BBC America the purveyor of fine British television has been showing x-files and Star Trek TNG (which ironically would make more sense to be on say a sci-fi channel) Now I get that since Patrick Stewart is British and the principle lead, but there are plenty of shows with British actors on TV shows here in the states. Are you going to start showing Mr. Belvidere or House? and how the hell is X-files british other than Gillian Anderson going british after the show ended. This is a common strategy of narrowcasting to "broaden their base" but it's more like exchanging their base. I mean when was the last time you saw music on MTV is a common complaint for a reason. Less music videos and more Jersey Shore, is this a good thing? I mean how many sci fi fans were turned off by pro wrestling, or fans of british commedy would quickly turn off TNG? Maybe that's why we see Syfy going back the other way, trying to gain back some of the credibility it lost with reality shows like Mad Mad House and Who Wants to be a Superhero? Now let's change the damn name back. It would go a long way to letting people know what you stand for.