I watched the last episode of BSG last night. My son was sitting with me, so a large amount of time was spent explaining what was going on. ( Semi-spoilers behind the cut )
Tooling around in the blogs this morning for reactions on BSG, I came across the announcement that the SciFi Channel is changing it’s name to SyFy to shake off that nasty geeky fanboy image. “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.
“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.”
Wow…way to kick your core audience in the teeth. I’ve thought that they’ve been going down the crapper with such highbrow stuff as wrestling, reality tv, and their own original movies for years. The executives mentioned that they wanted something more friendly to females. Yay, as a female, I would love to give up my intelligent science fiction in favour of such woman-friendly fare as wrestling!
I am now very afraid for the Space Channel here in Canada. The thing I love about it now is that it is unapologetically nerdy and worshipping of all things scifi. The BSG “frakin end” marathon had three fanboys and a fangirl, in costumes, commenting between each episode. The after show forum featured a fan club in Vancouver. There is an ongoing series about what obsessive collections people have in their basements (lego, action figures, etc). There is an absolutely adorable ad with little kids dressed as superheroes.
Maybe in Canada we are less worried about our tv being “cool”. On a weekend I can watch BGG, Supernatural, Terminator:SCC, Stargate Atlantis, Medium, Torchwood, Star Trek, and real scifi or fantasy movies (rather than the monster of the week crap) all on the same channel. I love that they can play the best of what’s out there from the USA, Canada, Britain, and Australia.
There is a commercial that plays here where a bunch of executives from a cable company sit around making obviously lame (to everyone by themselves) rebranding decisions in order to be seen as hip and cool, compared to high def satellite. That commercial could be parody of the SyFy crew.