Thursday, April 29, 2010
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?