Good news: Syfy will emphasize sci-fi


This is good news, actually. Syfy (the former Sci-Fi Channel) is planning to push its focus on ... well, sci-fi. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Plenty of people, it
seems, love sci-fi but not Syfy. Now the cable channel hopes to
change that.

“We're going back
to our roots and embracing the genre like never before,” said Chris
McCumber, the SyFy Channel president. That will involve:

-- New series. Next
season, Syfy expects to have shows based on DC Comics (“Krypton”)
and a graphic novel (“Happy!”); it's developing ones based on
classics (“Hyperion,” “Brave New World,” “Stranger in a
Strange Land”) and on “Nightflyers,” from the “Game of
Thrones” author.

-- Familiar movies.
Next year, it takes over the oft-aired Harry Potter and Marvel films.

-- Attitude, which
is first: A June 19 “re-brand” will have a new logo and will
emphasize a Website (www.syfywire.com)
that McCumber hopes will be the all-purpose science-fiction
destination. Then comes daily coverage of the San Diego Comic Con
(“that's our Super Bowl”) on July 20-23 and a build-up to the
channel's 25th anniversary Sept. 24. Aferward, “31 Days
of October” emphasizes the scary side of Syfy.

Originally, this was
the Sci-Fi Channel, a companion to the USA Network. Both joined NBC's
cable world in 2004; in 2009, the name became Syfy and the approach
softened, with reality shows and some movies with little
science-fiction connection.

Then sci-fi soared
in movie theaters, but Syfy slipped. Like many cable networks, it's
seen a decline: The Variety trade paper says Syfy averages 355,000
viewers (down 22 percent in two years) and lists 23 channels that
have more.

So nowit returns to
its roots: It will keep some reality shows (“Face-off” and
“Cosplay Melee”) and some silliness. “'Sharknado' will always
have a place at Syfy,” McCumber said

But instead, he
emphasizes the current shows -- “The Expanse,” “The Magicians,”
“Twelve Monkeys” -- that are steeply ambitious ... and very
sci-fi.