Studio Coffee Run: Syfy, MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK

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11SyfyLogo Studio Coffee Run: Syfy, MONSTER ATTACK NETWORKThe SciFi Channel is changing its name to the Syfy Channel so they won’t seem so geeky.

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network. Mr. Brooks said that when people who say they don’t like science fiction enjoy a film like “Star Wars,” they don’t think it’s science fiction; they think it’s a good movie. “We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi,” Mr. Brooks said. “It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.”


The channel hopes the change will appeal to viewers who don’t much care for sci-fi, like, say, women. Personally, we think rebranding it as The Mansquito Channel is the way to go, but no one ever listens to us.

§ Fresh off whupping WATCHMEN, the RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN remake helmer is signing on for a comic book movie himself. Director Andy Fickman has signed up for Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Nima Sorat’s MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK, published by AIT/Planet Lar. The film is set at Disney.

Comments

  1. You mean they’re not changing the name to the ECW channel? How disappointing.

  2. Joe S. Walker says:

    A business which publicly insults its core customers really deserves to go down the toilet. Not to mention that plenty of their programming barely qualifies as SF.

  3. It appears that there’s still too many TV execs with way too much time on their hands. Nothing like alienating one’s core audience with an aribitrary brand name change.

  4. Well, I first see “Syfy” as “Sci-Fee”, but of course everyone else will automatically pronounce it correctly. Tomayto, tomahto. tamadah.

  5. So, “SyFy,” pronounced still, I presume, “Sci Fi,” is going to fool…. whom?

  6. Because a coded spelling of an abbreviation of a specialty gene name is soooooo much less geeky than a mere abbreviation of the specialty gene name.

  7. Fanboy Menace says:

    It looks more like an abbreviated form of “syphyllis”.

    Which apparently according to Brooks might be a slightly more favorable demographic to the channel than say the one that’s been supporting their craptacular programming all this time.

  8. Yeah, I read it as “Siffy.” I suppose they test marketed it but it sure doesn’t seem like it. Why not call it SFC (for Sci Fi Channel) or something like that? StooPidd.

  9. Alexa says:

    So in order to appeal to women, they’re…changing the name of the channel? Wow, I thought I didn’t watch Sci-Fi because their shows are a lot of male-centric sexist crap. But, silly girly me, it’s because of the name!

    You want to appeal to more women, make shows women will want to watch. Buy the rights to the Tortall books and make a series about it. Get some prominent female SFF authors to pitch you shows. Besides, don’t they realize that most people watching Doctor Who are young women?

  10. The good news is that changing the network’s name to the “Syfy Channel” will not make them look geeky any more. The bad news is that it will make them look incredibly stupid.

    This is the network TV equivalent of a really bad comb-over — it’s not fooling anyone, it makes you look like a complete blithering idiot, and if you took some pride in the solar sex panel to begin with you could make it work for you a lot better.

  11. Cyrion says:

    Isn’t that the channel that announced CAPRICA in an inteview with Variety with the following: Sci Fi president Dave Howe told Variety. “I think, because Galactica’s backdrop was space and spaceships, there was a barrier to entry for some viewers. Caprica has none of that. It’s an intense family drama set on an Earthlike planet”

    Executive to English: Look, it’s Dallas with robots, ok? Robots with big racks!

  12. The other great irony of this name change now? Read the article:

    “Sci Fi is coming off the best year in its history. In primetime it ranked 13th in total viewers among ad-supported cable networks in 2008. It’s a top-10 network in both adults 18 to 49 (up 4%) and adults 25 to 54 (up 6%).”

    Yeah. Obviously the name must be holding them back.

    Syfy — just because they thought New Coke wasn’t the stupidest rebranding debacle in history.

  13. Amazing. Get popular and then dumb it down for the masses. Perhaps they want it to look like a bad text message.

    I wonder if they will return to San Diego Con with that blue squiggly thing now? Or will they just slap a sign over the old name? Maybe they’ll finally change their booth space to something more Syfy. They’re gonna get an earful at San Diego. If they’re smart they’ll skip the show, haha!

  14. I…what? Seriously, all the marketing rebranding in the world isn’t going to make this woman watch wrestling or crap reality shows. Sorry, SighFie.

  15. Someone, perhaps a couple of someones got paid big money to come up with that change, and then highly-paid executives were paid big money to approve it.

    Wouldn’t a better use of that money have been to just acquire more programming and, y’know, televise it?

  16. Alan Coil says:

    “SighFie. ”

    Brilliant!

  17. James Van Hise says:

    The biggest problem I’ve had with Sci-Fi Channel is that all of their original movies are about monsters killing people and people shooting monsters and they’re all the same plot. I never understood why they didn’t buy the rights to some of Heinlein’s 1950s novels which would be perfect for TV movies, especially Have Spacesuit Will Travel which wouldn’t require any larger budget than most of the films they make.

  18. mark coale says:

    Is this like the “sci-fi vs SF” argument or closer to the “trekkies vs trekkers” argument?

  19. Cyrion says:

    I never understood why they didn’t buy the rights to some of Heinlein’s 1950s novels which would be perfect for TV movies, especially Have Spacesuit Will Travel which wouldn’t require any larger budget than most of the films they make

    James, this would require the ability to actually read anything that is longer than a pitch line that goes the way I stated above: It’s Dallas with robots, okay?

    As their new “name” so shows, most of the executives there are likely not able to actually read anything longer than a Twitter message.

  20. It’s all about the trademark. “sci-fi” is a generic term, one that would be hard for them to protect as a trademark across multiple media. “SyFy” is enforceable.

    It’s basically the difference between “rice crispies” and “Rice Krispies.”

  21. The Sky-High Channel!

    //Oo/\

  22. michael says:

    Yeah, not really getting what the name even stands for!

    Synchronized…..What!? O.o

  23. MarkCalifornia says:

    I like this bit “We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi,” Mr. Brooks said. “It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.”

    Then don’t call it ‘SciFi’, douche, use any other name but that. How hard is this?

    ‘SyFy’ is even worse, just change the name completely, I mean it isn’t like the programming has changed since then , no wait…

  24. @michael: fidelity, naturally.

  25. Dubzie says:

    The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular

    Wow. Could this guy possibly be a bigger douchebucket?

    Way to insult your fans there skippy.

  26. Mariah says:

    I don’t really care about the name change, but I do care that the name change is being presented as some kind of “chick magnet” like lots of women don’t already watch/read/produce Sci-Fi. Especially considering how flexible the channels definition of that seems to be.

    If they’d like more viewers they might want to put up better content, since the only continuing shows I can think of that they’ve actually developed themselves (that aren’t, say, a BBC transplant) are BSG, Stargate, and Farscape that have had a consistent audience and transcended what they’re mostly known for…which is kind of awful made for TV movies. And I may be wrong about some of those being theirs.

    Is anyone else really tired of the “female audience” being treated like some monolithic entity with strange, alien interests? We want good stories, in any genre. The only reason you find people turned off by a genre is that they genuinely don’t like it or they feel it insults/exploits them. And even then, lots of women watch horror movies. This attitude that Sci-Fi is somehow antithetical to women is just stupid.

  27. jacob lyon goddard says:

    i ignore the Sci-Fi channel
    mainly because the programing is for “geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that”

    why on earth would a differently spelled name change that?

  28. The Lifetime Network is now The Life Sentence Network says:

    The Lifetime Network is now The Life Sentence Network

    “The channel hopes the change will appeal to viewers who don’t much care for sappy chick-flicks, like, say, men. The name Lifetime has been associated with women and dysfunctional and ‘abusive family’ tele-films which target women in their kitchens with soap opera addictions and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the male audience in particular,” said TV historian Jack Mehoff. “We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from sappy melodrama, which is largely why it’s called Lifetime,” Mr. Mehoff said. “It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Sappy Melodrama.’ But even the name Lifetime is limiting.”

    If every stupid cable channel suddenly decided to widen its appeal by trying to attract groups of people who don’t normally watch that sort of programming, wouldn’t that defeat their purpose for existing in the first place? That’s the beauty of cable. Now cable channels are trying to be like network stations… it’s just sad. I don’t know what “syfy” is, but I certainly don’t give a crap. I like “SCIENCE FICTION” because it combines two things I enjoy into one spectacularly wonderful new thing that can push the boundaries of thought and imagination. “syfy” is just a marketing department (or marketing firm) trying to convince its parent company (or client) that they don’t need to be downsized in this tough economy. Apparently, the bosses bought it… if only I could get paid what those idiots get paid to make stupid decisions like this for a living.

    This just in: Comedy Central is now called “The Sometimes-Funny Peripheral”.

  29. A-Rod says:

    I can’t believe Kelson was the only one among all these comments to get it right. It’s not about appealing to women. It’s about creating a trademark that is defensible in court. You can’t sue someone for infringing on “SciFi” it’s simply too common, but you can sue the pants off anyone using “SyFy.” This is the ONLY reason they are doing this. But the marketing department can’t come out and say that, so they make up some lame story about “expanding their core audience” etc. etc.

  30. Looks Welsh to me.

    I would pay extra for a channel that shows nothing but giant mutant monster movies in Welsh, with the occasional reality-tv poetry competition and pro-wresting match.

  31. William Berube says:

    Forrest J Ackerman is rolling in his grave at this very moment.

    And no, I’m not changing my vanity plate from Sci-Fi to SyFy.

  32. Moe in G'ville says:

    The idea of the name change is as stupid as wrestling, ghost hunters and horry gorry films being considered science fiction.

    We have had the Scifi Channel since it was first offered and we watch less of it now than ever. Thanks to DVDs we can choose to support real science fiction.

  33. cool pics

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