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Syfy: AKA The Sci-Fi Channel


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#1771

LoneHaranguer

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 4:44 PM

Both NBC and Syfy (owned by Comcast now) seem to be embarked on a brand-rebuilding campaign, and willing to spend the money to do it. I can't help but wonder if Comcast smacked some sense into them.

I'm sure Comcast would rather be charging viewers for On Demand movies and shows they own than ones they have to buy from someone else but they can't just offer crap because it's theirs.
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#1772

Temis the Vorta

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 5:53 PM

Comcast owns NBC and Syfy now. On Demand is just part of their business. They're also in the traditional-TV business (broadcast and cable) now, so they're not going to suddenly throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just like when GE was the big boss, they didn't force NBC to make shows about toasters. (Syfy did that tho, lol.)
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#1773

Nightmare Logic

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Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 8:57 AM

Isn't it sad when the science fiction channel has less science fiction on it then any other channel?

Edited by Nightmare Logic, Apr 26, 2012 @ 8:59 AM.

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#1774

Temis the Vorta

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 3:14 PM

No other channel has even that much sci fi (if you're strict about the definition and don't include fantasy, which Syfy has a lot of anyway). There's sci fi scattered across the dial, generally one show per channel, if even that (not counting cartoons).

FOX - Fringe, maybe Touch (questionable, seems like fantasy to me).

NBC - Grimm is fantasy, doesn't count. Awake - can't tell what that is, might not be sci fi or fantasy.

ABC - Once Upon a Time is fantasy, doesn't count.

CW - vampires and witches are fantasy.

CBS - they're out of the sci fi/fantasy game.

AMC - The Walking Dead.

TNT - Falling Skies.

HBO - Game of Thrones is fantasy.

FX - American Horror Story is fantasy (supernatural horror.)

If there's something I've missed, I will check it out, but that's all I can think of now. Fantasy is just a lot more successful on TV than sci fi. Only a few were attempted this year - Terra Nova, Alcatraz, maybe Awake if that's sci fi at all - and they all failed.

Next fall's pilots have a lot of genre possibilities, but the ones likely to go to series are all fantasy (fairy tales, supernatural conspiracies, monsters). Only The Last Resort is even questionably sci fi. Do No Harm is also possibly sci fi-ish - Jeckle & Hyde medical story. Arrow is sci fi if you consider superheroes sci fi.

Edited by Temis the Vorta, Apr 28, 2012 @ 3:16 PM.

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#1775

ganesh

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 5:18 PM

I'd include scifi and fantasy. I prefer scifi, but I like both.

That's just right now on tv. There's still Doctor Who coming, Merlin. The UK Being Human, Spartacus. Legend of the Seeker!

I think the real point is that *ambitious* genre programming is being attempted elsewhere. Even though Flash Forward and V failed, there was a serious attempt at putting these shows out. Starz had a [not so good] King Arthur show recently. Why not count the Clone Wars too? Outcasts was on BBCA. The recent Torchwood was on Starz. Bar Karma would have been a great fit because it was cheap and actually good. Not to mention the entire show concept was cutting edge and unique.

What did they do here? Eureka and W13 are good USA-network shows. I like them, but they are that risky. Eureka kind of is and got axed. I love Sanctuary, but they need independent investment. The last "new" things were another SG and BSG. These new shows posted recently seem like re-treads. And one of the ideas for a future series is still based on W13.

I've long since stopped looking here for fresh genre shows. Stuff like the Chronicle, Painkiller Jane, and Flash Gordon may not have been A-level [I-Man was], but they were different and they weren't that bad.
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#1776

Bruinsfan

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:06 PM

If Painkiller Jane and Flash Gordon weren't that bad, what was?
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#1777

runningoutofnam

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:49 PM

I think Painkiller Jane may have suffered since they couldn't tie it into the Marvel comics universe. Hell she has teamed up with Wolverine.

As for Flash Gordon I had no idea it was even on or what time since they seemed to have kept changing it.
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#1778

Cynthia187

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 1:37 PM

If the box office any indication, the audience for sci fi and fantasy is out there. I just don't understand why producers aren't successful in translating the box office charm to television.
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#1779

ganesh

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 4:24 PM

PKJ and FG were B-level action/adventure shows that just needed some time to find their footing. For PKJ, it was when they went to Europe and took over the asylum. For FG, I think the "girlfriend" was miscast because that woman is just not a good actor, but when they got away from Earth and stayed on the other planet, the show was really more watchable. There was a good bath and forth between Flash and Ming's daughter.

Were they appointment television? No, but I liked watching them on Fridays before I went out. Were they in the same group as all the good syndicated shows from the mid- to late-90s? I think so. The sad thing is this network can't even really develop shows on that level anymore.
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#1780

taiko

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 5:19 PM

If the box office any indication, the audience for sci fi and fantasy is out there. I just don't understand why producers aren't successful in translating the box office charm to television.

Is the movie box office watching for scientific content or Lucasfilm magic? TV can't compete on visuals like they can with drama and even on non science fiction action.

Edited by taiko, Apr 29, 2012 @ 5:20 PM.

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#1781

Temis the Vorta

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 8:30 PM

I just don't understand why producers aren't successful in translating the box office charm to television.


Sci fi in movies depends heavily on action and visual spectacle, which is expensive. When you're charging people $12 a head to watch two hours, you can afford the expense. Not so much when you're only getting ad revenue or maybe a modest share of basic cable subscription fees.

If HBO or Showtime would do visually extravagant sci fi, that might be able to match up with what movies can do, but on Syfy or broadcast, we end up with cop shows with sci fi window dressing because it's cheap to make.
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#1782

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 8:56 PM

Honestly, I think the main sets, space scenes, and general SFX of Farscape and Stargate Atlantis were comparable to mid-range movie quality. But the former was too weird and obscure to be that successful, and the latter was stil fairly obscure and hampered by frequently hackneyed writing.
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#1783

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Posted Apr 29, 2012 @ 9:50 PM

Farscape was also incredibly expensive per episode. Two million or so at the time. Also it was on the verge of constant cancellation.
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#1784

ganesh

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 9:57 AM

I don't remember Farscape being in danger of cancellation. There was a huge break between S2 and S3 because of the Olympics. Then it was later renewed for a 4th and a 5th season. Towards the end of shooting the 4th season they axed it and told TPTB on the show they should shoot a series ender instead of their usual ridiculously awesome cliffhangers. They tries to get a short 5th season to wrap it up, but the network said no and S4 ended the way it was originally intended.
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#1785

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 11:31 AM

Yes it was in danger of being cancelled or not being renewed if you prefered several times. DVD commentaries mention this.

http://en.wikipedia....pe#Cancellation it wasn't intended to end in season four. They were planning a fifth season during season three.
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#1786

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 11:59 AM

They were planning a fifth season during season three.

Because Sci-Fi had announced they renewed Farscape in an unprecedented move for TWO SEASONS (seasons 4 and 5). That's why people were so outraged that Sci-Fi changed its mind. It wasn't just that Farscape didn't get a renewal, but that the supposedly guaranteed (and much hyped at the time) renewal was rescinded halfway through.
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#1787

Temis the Vorta

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

Honestly, I think the main sets, space scenes, and general SFX of Farscape and Stargate Atlantis were comparable to mid-range movie quality.


Farscape maybe, but SG:A looked similar to a direct-to-DVD movie. If I saw a theatrical movie that looked like that, I'd demand my money back, it's not up to what I'd expect when I'm shelling out $12 for a mere two hours. Blood & Chrome tried to solve the problem with virtual sets but from what I heard, that just ended up creating other expenses and that's why Syfy passed on the series.
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#1788

ganesh

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 3:39 PM

Which, ten years later or so, is the exact same thing as happened to Eureka. Way to learn from experience!
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#1789

ParadoxLost

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 8:34 PM

Which, ten years later or so, is the exact same thing as happened to Eureka. Way to learn from experience!


And managed to inform SG-1 of their cancellation at their 200th episode celebration. And hemmed and hawed so much about how many seasons BSG should have that the EPs decided to end it on their own terms. At least that's what I heard.

BTW, I was horrified to hear that SyFy nearly got Fringe cancelled. Rumor has it, getting a syndication deal with SyFy was the thing to make the numbers work on a Fringe renewal and SyFy wasn't interested because its too serialized. Thank goodness they figured something out to get the 13 episode 5th season anyway.

If it is true, I find it crazy that SyFy won't show good SciFi because its serialized. I guess that explains all the reality. But really, couldn't they find the imagination to come up with an Outer Limits/Twilight Zone/Tales fom the Darkside type show.

Edited by ParadoxLost, Apr 30, 2012 @ 8:37 PM.

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#1790

ganesh

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 10:30 PM

And managed to inform SG-1 of their cancellation at their 200th episode celebration.


I totally forgot about that. Class. TPTB at SG1 still had enough time to end the show on their own terms and get 2 tv movies too.

BTW, I was horrified to hear that SyFy nearly got Fringe cancelled. Rumor has it, getting a syndication deal with SyFy was the thing to make the numbers work on a Fringe renewal and SyFy wasn't interested because its too serialized. Thank goodness they figured something out to get the 13 episode 5th season anyway.

I'm horrified now too. Unbelievable, but yet I am not surprised. Yet, BSG was fairly serialized though, but I guess that was a long time ago. Wasn't SGU more serialized in S2?

But really, couldn't they find the imagination to come up with an Outer Limits/Twilight Zone/Tales fom the Darkside type show.

*I* could come up with that show. Everyone else here could too. The network just doesn't want to pursue science fiction programming. I know the point is to make money, but just throwing out reality shows isn't the only way. Have some reality shows, ok, sure. You can't come up with one or two nights of original programming?

Are syndication rights that big of a deal still now?
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#1791

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Posted Apr 30, 2012 @ 11:42 PM

I'm surprised that Syfy is interested in Fringe. It seems that all they show now is their own stuff (primarily their "original" movies and reality shows) with an occasional Twilight Zone marathon thrown in. Maybe it's a good sign that they are willing to pay for content not developed on the cheap in house.
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#1792

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 10:24 AM

I can kind of see Syfy questioning whether Fringe would be a good fit. If you just happened to be flipping channels or a random ep came up after something else you were watching and you'd never seen the show, would you have any idea what was going on? Would you be able to enjoy it as a stand alone? I'd think that's what you want in a syndicated series. When they tried The Sarah Connor Chronicles they got very poor ratings and pulled it, if I remember correctly.
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#1793

Cynthia187

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

To be fair, the ending of TSCC is may have killed any Dan interest in the show. If you know the ending sucks, why bother?

Other than SG franchise (-SGU), I like when SyFy does a miniseries. They seem to do that well.
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#1794

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 11:42 PM

When they tried The Sarah Connor Chronicles they got very poor ratings and pulled it


It tends to happen when you change the show times in an erratic fashion plus the air dates so you have long gaps that kills the show 9 times out of 10 because not only do you annoy people but you cause them to not know when the show is on.
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#1795

red huntress

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 2:32 PM

Apparently syfy is running their version of the Battleship movie soon - and they do use the (slightly re-worded phrase) 'They won't sink my battleship'. Sigh!

Edited by red huntress, May 10, 2012 @ 2:33 PM.

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#1796

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 3:35 PM

I had to look it up to be sure, but red huntress is right--as if on cue, The Asylum's American Warships (originally American Battleship before Universal busted out a lawsuit last month) will indeed air on May 19, the day after Battleship premieres in the States. This is where I weep for the careers of Carl Weathers and Mario Van Peebles.
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#1797

ganesh

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 3:40 PM

Apparently syfy is running their version of the Battleship movie soon - and they do use the (slightly re-worded phrase) 'They won't sink my battleship'. Sigh!

You kind of have to use the line though! Ha ha ha.

And stayed tuned for: Those hippos are *hungry*!
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#1798

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 4:06 PM

Well the big screen Battleship movie is considered to be one of the worst screenplays in hollywood so the Asylum version is actually better.

So if you want to watch a horrible film go watch American Warships instead of Battleship namely because American Warships will not cost you anything except time.
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#1799

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 4:34 PM

[And stayed tuned for: Those hippos are *hungry*!


Given the number of snakes, sharks, piranhas etc. we've seen, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a Ravenous, Ravenous River Horse in the offing.
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#1800

ganesh

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:09 PM

I was also going to go with: those motherfucking hippos are motherfucking huuungryyy! #snakesonaplane
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