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November 24, 2014

Syfy Name Change Working: 'Warehouse 13' Beats 'Battlestar Galactica'

by Gary Susman, posted Oct 5th 2009 4:00PM
Warehouse 13 on SyfyWhat the frak? Who'd have imagined that the universally snickered-at name change from Sci Fi Channel to Syfy this summer would not only turn out to be a smart move, but that the new Syfy flagship show, 'Warehouse 13,' would turn out to be an even bigger hit than 'Battlestar Galactica'?

What's next, a cooking show? (Oh, wait ... ) What planet are we living on again?Warehouse 13 on SyfyWhat the frak? Who'd have imagined that the universally snickered-at name change from Sci Fi Channel to Syfy this summer would not only turn out to be a smart move, but that the new Syfy flagship show, 'Warehouse 13,' would turn out to be an even bigger hit than 'Battlestar Galactica'?

What's next, a cooking show? (Oh, wait ... ) What planet are we living on again?

The name change from SciFi to Syfy was instantly derided when the channel announced it last spring. It wasn't just fanboys who felt alienated by the change; industry observers in entertainment and advertising thought the channel had phasered itself in the foot by snubbing its geeky viewership in order to attract non-nerds to a broader slate of programs not necessarily associated with robots and spaceships. Even the channel's founders denounced the new moniker.

But now Variety reports that Syfy is indeed drawing a bigger and broader audience than it did as SciFi, with new series 'Warehouse 13' a prime example. The 'X-Files'-like paranormal adventure drama debuted with a large (for basic cable) audience of 4.2 million in July and wrapped its first season Sept. 22 with an audience of 4.4 million.



Over the season, the percentage of new and younger viewers grew as well, Variety reports. Overall, eight of the channel's 10 most-watched episodes were from 'Warehouse 13,' which has become the most popular show in SciFi's – er, Syfy's – history. Yes, even more popular than than the beloved 'Battlestar Galactica.'

Still, has the channel's new popularity come at the cost of diluting the channel's identity? While 'Warehouse,' 'Stargate: Universe,' and 'Eureka' remain Syfy mainstays (not to mention 'Galactica' spinoff 'Caprica,' coming in early 2010), the network does have plans to increase its slate of reality programming, including, perhaps, even a cooking show (what would a Syfy cooking show look like? Jimmy Kimmel has an idea; see video below).



Then again, even before the name change, SciFi already had 'Ghost Hunters' and wrestling on the schedule. So maybe 'Extreme Makeover: Mars Edition,' like the name change, wouldn't be that extreme a makeover after all. -- By Gary Susman


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