Thursday, April 29, 2010

Syfy Channel seems to think Scifi isn't necessary...

In a thoroughly bizarre bit of programming, the Syfy Channel has announced that it has acquired WWE's "Friday Night Smackdown" as part of its programming. Um. Huh? Yes, it appears that the Syfy Channel has decided to move away from a science fiction oriented lineup. ~From Variety Magazine World Wrestling Entertainment's "Friday Night SmackDown" is moving to cable. The weekly two-hour series, which currently serves as the linchpin of MyNetwork TV, will premiere on Syfy beginning Oct. 1. and fill the 8 p.m. timeslot. "Caprica," "Stargate Universe" and "Sanctuary" will now shift from Friday to Tuesday, as a result. Syfy is ponying up close to $30 million in an annual fee to land "SmackDown," making the shift a hugely profitable one for the Connecticut-based WWE, considering MyNetwork paid around $15 million, sources close to the situation said. And according to MSNBC, it gets worse. Presumably fulfilling its post-rebranding promise to “Imagine Greater,” the former Sci Fi Channel — now known as Syfy — has imagined its way right out of the niche that made the cable network. Forget about space operas, tech dramas or B-movie monsters (except for “Mega Piranha” — never forget “Mega Piranha”), programming shake-ups reveal Syfy is ready to live up to its theme-less new name. If the recent announcement that “Top Chef” alum Marcel Vigneron would be joining the network for a cooking show called “Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen” wasn’t proof enough, Syfy’s acquisition of “Friday Night SmackDown” should be. The mind boggles. Not only is the Syfy Channel (will the name of this network be anything other than ironic anymore?) shoehorning in programming that most definitely does not fit the old theme of the network, but they're going to move the only original programming they have, series-wise, to make room for wrestling and cooking shows? What just happened here?

14 comments:

Kendama said...

I'm thinking that they need to pay the bills. Recession, you know. :)

Still, it defeats the purpose of being a "sci-fi" channel if you're going to add wrestling and cooking to your lineup. It also gives them a little leeway (hey, we're "Syfy," not "Sci-fi," you neeeeeeeerds!)

P.S.: According to various sources on the internet, "Syfy" is Polish slang for "zits" or "scum."

SQT said...

I get that to a point. But why bother branding anymore? MTV stopped being about music a long time ago and TLC (or is it Discovery Channel) has become all about women who have litters of babies and little people. I mean, how many channels do we need with cooking shows? Next thing you know they'll have some kind of stupid "scifi wives" show.

Ugh. I shouldn't give them any ideas.

Sullivan McPig said...

That's just weird!
I must confess I almost never watch tv as here it's all game and talent shows and disaster documentaries.
I love my DVD player!

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Could work the other way of course: after all if Smackdown (or any other WWE type program) has one glaring fault, it is NOT ENOUGH DALEKS. Perhaps SyFy can remedy this.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is ridiculous!
Let's see, what should we do with our struggling shows? I know - move them so the fans can't find them anymore.
Years ago they canned Mystery Science Theater 3000 because Mike and the Bots couldn't do enough science-fiction movies for their tastes. Hypocritical or what?

SQT said...

Sullivan-- I tell ya, I'm watching less and less television and a lot more old movies. When did they start dumbing everything down so much? I can't take anymore "reality" tv.

Scifi Gene-- If they put Daleks in the ring, I might tune in to see that--if only for a second or two. Well, maybe longer if the Daleks are winning...

SQT said...

Alex-- I know! As I understand it "Caprica" is already struggling a bit, so this could be the final nail in the coffin. It makes no sense.

Kendama said...

"I tell ya, I'm watching less and less television and a lot more old movies. When did they start dumbing everything down so much? I can't take anymore 'reality' tv."

Yup, I'll be well acquainted with my DVD player from now on. :)

Emily Cross said...

I can't believe this.

Often, especially where i live, the Sci-fi channel might be the only one that shows certain shows!!

???

I can watch smackdown and cooking shows on normal channels!?!

furiousBall said...

I hate this kind of stuff. I'm a big military history buff and I get ticked when they put stories of the old west (meaning cowboys) on there.

Charles Gramlich said...

I know. I've given up on SCifi channel for the most part. There aer such great old series they could run but this kind of crap and some of their stupid movies are just worthless.

SQT said...

Emily-- that's what gets me. Why not try for better SCIFI programming rather than add in stuff we can get anywhere else?

FB-- I don't know why so many networks are doing this. It's like they're saying they don't believe in their own hype.

Charles-- the movies are pretty horrible. But when they try, like with BSG, they can come up with something special. This really turns them into the 'why bother' network.

Stewart Sternberg said...

The issue is that the channel is owned by one of the large conglomerates and some genius in marketing has figured out that people who like science fiction and fantasy are a)trailer park inhabitants with a love for errant cinderblock and b)people who think a "mullet" is a powerful aphrodisiac.

Still, enough people who are regular viewers of the channel are watching to make it worthwhile. And then you should consider the fact that many people who turn in just for wrestling might stay tuned in for other fare.

SQT said...

Stu-- I don't know. I worked in Hollywood so I know the executive mindset and it is all about numbers. But usually decisions like this backfire to some extent. If nothing else, I predict the quality of the network is going to slide dramatically.