Perfectly Good Names The SciFi Channel Could Have Chosen Instead of The Utterly Stupid "SyFy"

From io9:
# Networkico Fantastico
# The Sci-Fi, But That's Not A Bad Thing Channel
# Being A Broadcast Network That Specializes In Pictorial Representations Of A Technical and Supernatural Nature
# All Grace Park All The Time Channel
# Joss Whedon's Natural Home If He'd Only Realize It
# We're Worried That You're Still In Your Mom's Basement Because That's Not Really The Demographic We're Looking For Channel
25 Other Names The Sci Fi Channel Could Rebrand With (thanks, @bonnie)

50

  1. Except that for years they’ve had very little to do with SF. Cold readings, WWF bouts… And as the story which announced this pointed out, they don’t actually think of themselves as being an SF channel these days; they’re going after a more general audience which likes the action-adventure aspect of speculative fiction but is put off by the idea that it might ask them to think.l

    They aren’t even Skiffy any more. SyFy suits them perfectly.

  2. First list of names I’ve seen so far that are actually worse than SyFy. Excellent, would read again ++++++

  3. I’m sorry, but who wouldn’t watch the All Grace Park All The Time Channel? Seriously, that’s brilliant! Evil genius brilliant!

  4. We love scifi / fantasy, and almost always watch the ‘Saturday is the Most Dangerous Day of the Week’evening movie. But I gotta say: they’re usually pretty stupid. I have the patience and fortitude to endure and enjoy the likes of Mansquito and Frankenfish, but most of them are pretty predictable, poorly acted and written by imbesiles. I understand low budget. But if they want to attract more women, they gotta lose their signature move of someone getting his head bitten off while still standing. Chicks don’t dig bloody gore.
    I think they should lose the stupid wrestling (even tho it does qualify as scifi). They should show more fantasy movies (remembering that horror is a branch of scifi) that women in general would enjoy, without being too sissified for guys.

  5. They should have ran an open, on-line voting campaign… then it would have been called the “Colbert” channel.

  6. SyFy is fine. After BSG ends, so will the last remnants of any science fiction on that channel worth watching. I recall when Sci-Fi used to play old SF movies in addition to new SF. They even had a golden age where they were putting out a few decent SF originals. Now though…

    WWF wrestling… fucking WWF wrestling. If I were to pick a show that embodies the exact polar opposite of what I think the Sci-Fi channel should be playing, it would be big steroid fueled men doing a pretend wrestling soap opera. I honestly thought it was some sort of joke when I first saw it.

    Nah. They have no interest in SF these days. It is crappy reality TV, wrestling, and monster movies that are so bad that they are not funny. Let them change the name and let the Sci-Fi channel die and become another amorphous “guy” channel.

    Anything with even a slight bit of wit, intelligence, or character gets killed on cable these days. Don’t even get me started on that horrible waste of bandwidth that is G4. If my roommates didn’t want cable, I would have canceled the subscription long ago.

  7. They forgot one – “The ‘We’re Hoping People Will Confuse Us With “Spike”‘ Channel”

    Seriously, isn’t it obvious that’s what they want to be when they grow up? The spitting image of the former Nashville Network. Only they somehow think that they can attract female viewers by becoming the “next network for men.”

  8. If Joss Whedon did a show on the SciFi, sorry, ScyFy Channel they’d likely cancel it faster than Fox. They seem incapable of keeping anything good.

  9. The channel change has nothing to do with the actual name and everything to do with being able to trademark it. The suits want to make people pay for the right to comment about their “science fiction” programming and the generic “SciFi” is the worst possible thing for the suits – its descriptive and not trademarkable. It was doomed as soon as someone decided they needed to leave behind their “core audience” of geeks in basements and start making money.

  10. I think it was Harlan Ellison who said that “SF” refers to a literary genre, while “Sci-Fi” refers to crappy TV shows and Hollywood movies, and is the plural of “Scum-Fum”.

    Of course, Harlan’s experience with movies and TV may have soured him a tad.

  11. Why not just the Mansquito Channel? It is inarguably their finest achievement, a raw chunk of pure cinematic excellence. I’m waiting for the Criterion Collection DVD (but not holding my breath).

  12. I should have added that Mr. Ellison, while a fine writer, is no Latin scholar. Still, it works better his way.

  13. Harlan once also said that “Sci-Fi” sounds like “crickets fucking.”

    I don’t have any issue with the term myself – it’s easier to say that Science Fiction, so I use it all the time.

    Also, a website named “io9” doesn’t get to make fun of a channel named “SyFy.”

  14. That graphic (new name, white, poor grammar) looks like it was created by an Apple fanboy.

    In Canada, we have the “Space” channel, which looks the same at the surface, but has remained truer to the space/SF/horror/fantasy genre.

    No wrestling here…

    The name here is “Space: The Imagination Station”

    Trite, but it beats the hell out of “SyFy Imagine Greater.

  15. The “All Grace Park All The Time Channel” might get more viewers ;)

    I have always wondered why Joss Whedon didn’t jump over to SciFi. The “Firefly” fiasco would have made me bitter. Instead, he trusts “Dollhouse” to Fox. Bad move, as there is already talk of cancellation.

  16. Let’s not worry too much.

    It’s only natural that as the inevitable decline of cable intensifies, its networks will with increasingly greater desperation pander to the safest possible audience while more and more of us realize how little value we’re getting for $50 a month.

    The future of TV is somewhere between Netflix and Hulu. Once these parties can cut out the middleman and become their own distributor (as Netflix Red Envelope has attempted to do already), the likes of SyFy will be in the last years of their waning — and likely licensing content from the new guys rather than the other way around.

  17. They never wanted to change their name, they just want to usurp work SciFi for themselves.
    From thier press release:

    “…positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across …”

  18. I know they did this to try and broaden their viewer base, but I really wonder if they are just pissing off loyal existing viewers.

  19. true enough that even SciFi (refuse to write the new name on the basis that I am 1/4 Polish even if I didn’t know what the new spelling meant in Polish before others posted about it) would cancel Joss probably just as quickly… We need someone with money to fall in love with Joss’s work and just create a whole new channel for him (hey I’d watch the “All Joss Whedon All The Time” channel wouldn’t you?

  20. The comment from the executive that “when we started talking to people, they said SyFy was how kids would text it” is one of the all-time stupid statements from clueless exec.

    Clueless, irrelevant, insipid. Embarrassing.

  21. I laughed my ass with the IO9 comment.

    The ironic thing is that I dropped IO9 from my RSS feeds. Too much crap about TV shows I am not interested in and comic books I will never read, so the noise to signal ratio was too low. I really enjoy their occasional review of books that I want, but it was pure suffering to check my RSS to find the latest details about that crappy TV series or jokes about the DC universe.

    I guess that is part of the reason that I do not even own a TV set anymore. I am too picky with what I want to see and have little patience with what I do not like.

  22. It looks like it should be pronounced ‘siffee’ instead of ‘Sci-Fi’.. its now just one word, Syfy. Siffee..

  23. If they had to rename the channel, they should have just called it “Skiffy”, since that’s what a lot of people call it anyway.

  24. please, may we just have an all joss whedon all the time channel? with behind the scenes footage, interviews and director’s commentary.

    the sci fi channel still exists?

  25. In Canada, the equivalent channel is called “Space”.

    Stupid Canada and their jingoistic laws that everything have a “Canadian equivalent” instead of just importing the same damned channel.

    They forgot one – “The ‘We’re Hoping People Will Confuse Us With “Spike”‘ Channel”

    You mean, The National Network, er, The Nashville Network?

    I really thought it was an Onion article, when I read the announcement.

    Yeah, really: What. The. Fuck.?

    I remember when Sci-Fi was just “science fiction” reruns… like, Manimal, because they had to fill air time and there wasn’t quite enough material in the sci-fi genre that they could afford to syndicate.

    Then again, I would never have given popcorn trash like Lexx a chance if Sci-Fi didn’t pick it up.

    Not to mention that I first saw Mark Osborne’s More on Sci-Fi’s Exposure series.

    Finally, I used to tell people that paying for cable television basically amounted to three channels: Comedy Central, Cartoon Network (incl. Adult Swim), and Sci-Fi. Guess that’s over, huh?

    (Just like Adult Swim apexed after Sealab, ATHF, and Ghost in the Shell. The golden oldies on Toonami / Midnight Run were great though, such as Outlaw Star.)

  26. Zuzu, you’re a man after my own heart. (Assuming you’re a man.)

    Also, “Syfy” sounds like a species of Pokemon. Or maybe a toddler dish that gives one syphilis. You know, “Syfy-cup”?

  27. Actually, if I recall correctly, Sci Fi passed on picking up FIREFLY after Fox canceled it.

    That, and any random sampling of their programming (BSG notwithstanding), tells all you need to know about the idiots running things over there.

  28. io9 (“strung out on science fiction”!) lost any credibility it had when it started posting articles about Harry Potter and Twilight to try to get more eyeballs for its advertisers. Fuck science fiction if there’s not enough $$$ in it, it seems.

  29. I think it’s a pretty meaningless name change. It’s just a more distinct brand as opposed to a purely descriptive name. The fact that it’s apparently not an accurate description anymore would be pretty annoying though (or it would be if I still paid for cable). Is there seriously not enough of an audience for actual science fiction that it can’t sustain the profitability of one dedicated channel? Or maybe science fiction fans are just ahead of the curve, and like me have already largely moved beyond paying for television?

  30. Or maybe science fiction fans are just ahead of the curve, and like me have already largely moved beyond paying for television?

    Yeah, the fact that I don’t know anyone who’s ever watched Battlestar Galactica actually on the Sci-Fi television channel… which means for about 4-5 seasons now, might have something to do with it.

    Of course, the fact BSG aired on SkyOne before Sci-Fi for the first season also inclined it to online distribution. Anyone who has incorporated the Internet into their daily living is reflexively disgusted by geographic market segmentation. i.e. Once it’s released anywhere, it’s released everywhere — region controls and rebroadcasting licenses be damned. Likewise, the attempt by mass-media to implement geolocation (e.g. Hulu, BBC iPlayer) draws great ire and resentment by the online population. It’s like those media organizations are willfully ignorant of this being the internet.

  31. Since it’s been a while since they’ve shown any interest in “science” related fiction, maybe it should be

    “Sci?Why?”

  32. In a comment on Liz Hand’s Live Journal I came up with this new name:

    “Dumping Ground For Direct-To-Video Shitballs With A Fantastic Plot Point Network.”

    Which is at least accurate, modulo an occasional decent original series, and of course BSG and DR Who.

    Though I think some of the shitballs I think are direct-to-video Z-movies might actually be Sci Fi Originals, in which case shame on them.

  33. SyFy. “Our accountant paid us 5 bucks to incorporate his name into the channel.”

    Actually though, this is a good thing, the term “Sci-Fi” can begin to distance itself from the shit slate that the soon to be called “SyFy” has run for decades.

    I really wouldn’t be surprised if “SyFy” means the station will be incorporating more wrestling, reality shows, and a lot more non-Science Fiction related programming.

  34. I’ve never once watched Doctor Who on SciFi.

    I had watched them each A YEAR earlier by downloading the torrent.

    Also, if Sci Fi carried LEXX, there’s no reason not to carry Torchwood… which I also watched by torrent.

  35. SyFy: Ymagyne Gr8yr. “George! I think we’ve cracked the female demographic thing!”

    ‘I think it was Harlan Ellison who said that “SF” refers to a literary genre, while “Sci-Fi” refers to crappy TV shows and Hollywood movies…’ Of course. The ironic defiant slumming note was just right.

  36. I am watching a really bad bad movie on SciFi (SyFy) as I type. I caught it in the middle, but it has something to do with teradyctals, women who fly Mitsubishi Zero fighters, and B-29. One woman actually is upset that we may drop a nuke on the Japanese. The WWII fuel drums are made of plastic and the B-29 can fly with the just the contents of 4 of them (in real life it would not make it to half way point of the runway). One soldier in this movie has (or had, before becoming teradyctal carrion)M1 carbine that he has to pull the bolt back on every shot (the M1 is a semi-auto). Who writes this crap, I mean seriously! this is made to go direct to MST 3000. I wish they would bring that back. MST 3000 was actually funny.

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