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October 6, 2015

Sci-Fi Channel isn't just about sci-fi, says Sci-Fi Channel

by Bob Sassone, posted May 19th 2008 11:24AM

Sci-Fi Channel logoI always get antsy when companies start to go beyond their niche. I mean, does Dunkin' Donuts really have to start selling pizza and sandwiches too?

The Sci-Fi Channel is expanding beyond the worlds of Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and sci-fi in general. We've already seen wrestling on the network, and the execs at the network say that more stuff like that is coming. Sci-Fi Channel GM Dave Howe says that the definition of the network is "What if?" As in "What if The Sci-Fi Channel made a bunch of really shitty made for television movies?" This "What If" slogan also includes movies like Field of Dreams. Execs are even thinking about changing the name of the channel.

Needless to say, many science fiction fans aren't happy with this, including members of The Science Fiction Writers of America. TV fans are already upset for TV Land airing more and more reality shows and movies, and now this. What's next? TCM airing cooking shows and auto racing?

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Seems to me that the Sci-Fi channel is just doing what they want despite what the real fans want. I used to watch all the time and just got fed up with the lousy programming. The wrestling thing just blows me away...I can't believe they actually have that piece of s**t in their line up.
It seems to me that every time they have a great show or at least one with promise, they axe it for some other silly slab of crap. The Lost Room and The Dresden Files were GREAT, and what did they do? The scrapped them both for definitely less than quality junk. I don't understand what the deal is...does NBC just funnel their slop over to Sci-Fi? I keep hoping that my local cable network will pick up Chiller so I can have something to watch. I just don't understand how they make their decisions as far as what to keep in their lineup and what to scrap. Very frustrating.....

June 20 2008 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that wrestling doesn't belong on Sci Fi - it was an obvious attempt to boost ratings. But the genre is large enough to encompass science fiction, fantasy, horror and supernatural, which is what the Sci Fi Channel does. What they're dealing with is that the major networks are raiding the genre -- Heroes, Chuck, Knight Rider, Medium, Ghost Whisperer, Moonlight, New Amsterdam, Jericho, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies and LOST! All these could have been Sci Fi Channel shows but networks swiped them. It's not a niche market anymore. Upcoming series at Sci Fi include an off-world story and a supernatural series. They're just trying to broaden their audience to get enough money to make programming!

May 20 2008 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cartoon Network now plays more live action stuff, G4 plays non-related video game programs, MTV and VH1 barely play music videos and now Sci Fi is the latest to join the fray of stupidity. Really pathetic.

May 19 2008 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They should change the channel name to "Iffy". It would be appropriate.

May 19 2008 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the time when we should all cancel our cable subscriptions in protest. One of the big draws of cable in the first place is that no matter who you are, there's a channel playing YOUR shows on cable. You may have seen it a dozen times, but you still watch it.

May 19 2008 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

22 comments, guys this hasn't been a sci-fi channel for YEARS. Their made for TV movies are more horror/shlock then Sci-Fi. The network hasn't had much original programing, or even classic sci-fi for a long time. Please change the name.

What hits have they developed? Farscape, which they killed off by trying to widen the audience, Stargate:Atlantis which is a pale imitation of the original Stargate which was a showtime development, and now they have Eureka and the mess that BSG has become.

Other originals - Painkiller Jane (2 completely differnt movies and a series), Flash Gordon (without spaceships for gods sake), Dresden Files (changed too many elements for the books, and then ran the series out of order), The chronicle, jules verne, tremors and a bunch of reality drek.

May 19 2008 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A&E is absolute junk now. I will not watch it and I find that their HD channel is the biggest waste of bandwidth on my cable system (since it airs like only three hours of janky HD shows a day). They air all these crap reality shows and pretty much have gutted their legacy of classics and English product, along with airing low profile shows such as "Night Court" and "NewsRadio" and of course, "Law & Order" (yeah, how did airing those "CSI: Miami" and "Third Watch" reruns work for you guys?). Plus cancelling "Biography"? Seriously? At least Sci-Fi somewhat sticks to their channel's title more than 50% of the time; Unless you count Dog the Racist Bounty Hunter's (why bring him back?! He's so four years ago!) use of profanity as art or entertainment, A&E doesn't deserve any viewership.

I also don't understand all of these smaller networks like Discovery Health changing to Oprah's network next year or DIY airing junk like "Today Show" segments, or Fox Soccer's annoying airing of that "Dream Team" soccer soap. Why do niche channels need ratings? I watch niche channels just because I don't want to care about ratings. And TV Land...stick to old shows. "High School Reunion" is the most repugnant show I've seen this year.

May 19 2008 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All I can say is here comes Spike TV 2.0

May 19 2008 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There was an article about this on TV Squad either last year or earlier this year entitled "Network Drifting", meaning when a network starts to veer off from the original concept of the network to get "crossover" appeal. I liked what Sci-fi used to be, a mixture of classic sci-fi like "The Twlight Zone" and new like "Sliders" at least at one point. Wrestling does not belong on the Sci-fi Channel. Maybe if they continued making scripted series. Yet, I fear that what this means is more "reality" based series. Crap like "Who Wants to Be A Superhero?" Why is it that so often "crossover" means cheaper shows?"

May 19 2008 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's all so stupid. A niche is a niche for a reason, it's something you do better than the others and it's your speciality. When you go outside of that, it's disaster. Like how TLC went from "The Learning Channel" to some horrific makeover channel, or how MTV went from airing MUSIC to having a string of vapid shows about brain-dead spoiled brats. Sci-Fi should have 24/7 Science Fiction programming or it loses its credibility.

May 19 2008 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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