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Melissa56789

Syfy: aka the SciFi Channel

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A place for general Sci-Fi Channel (U.S., but U.K. welcome too) rants & thoughts. (Instead of keeping them buried inside show threads......)

 

 

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I still say "sif-ee." I get why they changed the name (branding + SEO I assume) but it still feels wrong. I wish they could give us another BSG-level series but I will admit Face Off and JHCSC are the only two reality shows I will watch.

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Heh - Sif-ee

I can't help but call the network - SeeFee  :-)

I too enjoyed BSG but fear SyFy's ability to successfully launch and run a show of similar depth.  I had hopes for Helix until they introduced Joffrey-lite in the last two episodes.  <heavy sigh>

To paraphrase or downright quote ganesh from over at twop (whilst I can still copy & paste content):

No offense to BSG which I watched and enjoyed, but honestly, the network got lucky. If BSG were being pitched now, it would be on Starz or AMC imo. Also, honestly, I think Farscape was better in terms of emotional impact.

A show like Game of Thrones is on HBO. The network in its current form will never get a show like this. They just don't support their shows. for whatever reason, original scifi programming was treated as something silly while cable outlets were taking risks on original shows.

There's just better shows elsewhere. Starz already has a scifi show in the pipeline.

The problem is, they're always looking for the next BSG. Once BSG was ending, they wanted SGU to be the next BSG. Always backward looking. They should have been pushing the envelope. Where's the USA version of Utopia? It's being developed for HBO. Where's Black Mirror? Direct TV. What's the best current scifi show? Orphan Black on BBCA.

The fact is, sci fi shows have passed them by while they sat around squeezing some quarters out of ghost shows and silly movies people make fun of.

***********

Huzzah!

Edited by Melissa56789
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I am glad to see that PTV has a spot of SyFy (or what I like to call, "the channel formerly know as Sci-Fi")

About the name changing, I really do think that changing the name to SyFy was a mistake. It's so wrong, on so many levels and, in my opinion, it really marked the downfall of this channel.

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Skifee (my name) has developed some decent programming (Haven and Defiance, for example).  They supported Haven for 52 episodes, with 26 more to come.  Defiance will get a second season of 13 episodes.  Both of these shows are pretty good, with good characterization and decent-to-good acting. 

So they can do more than Sharkado 15 .  The question is -- will they?

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I am glad to see that PTV has a spot of SyFy (or what I like to call, "the channel formerly know as Sci-Fi")

About the name changing, I really do think that changing the name to SyFy was a mistake. It's so wrong, on so many levels and, in my opinion, it really marked the downfall of this channel.

 

I am so happy this thread is here.  What would I do if I couldn't randomly complain about the dumb moves this network has made through the years and will continue to make in perpetuity.

 

My favorite thing about this network is that they still update their FAQ to explain 1) why they changed their name (money) 2) why they air wrestling, 3) why they have so much reality, and 4) to reassure us that they plan to continue to make sci-fi..

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A show like Game of Thrones is on HBO. The network in its current form will never get a show like this.

 

It's all about the dough-re-mi.

 

You're right. Skiffy would never get a show like GoT, which has a price tag of $6 million per episode (with a higher cost for the blockbuster episodes like Blackwater). NBC-Uni gives Skiffy a budget of peanuts and pocket lint to work from, so they can't afford nice things. If I recall correctly Eureka was actually gaining ground, ratings-wise, and at least the public voice at the network said they wanted to keep the show around, but "the money isn't there." Note Warehouse 13's demise as well when it came time to renew contracts, which is typically when a show begins to cost more. The only reason the costly BSG hung on so long was that it was such an award-winning media darling--it would have been publicly embarrassing to pull the plug.

Luckily Haven is a relatively small cast with an affordable level of special effects. I think Defiance is the big-ticket item right now, but they're doing their best to market and monetize, what with the tie-in commercials and game, so hopefully they'll manage to stay afloat for three seasons (not holding my breath for more).

So while I'm often frustrated beyond belief by some of the network's decisions (I was really looking forward to the Eureka storyline to be carried forward), I can understand where they're coming from, and the ridiculous constraints they're dealing with.

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So while I'm often frustrated beyond belief by some of the network's decisions (I was really looking forward to the Eureka storyline to be carried forward), I can understand where they're coming from, and the ridiculous constraints they're dealing with.

 

Its the classless way they go about implementing their decisions (cancellations) that makes me unable to sympathize with them, at all.  Eureka being the classic example of a sea of examples.  The only reason we got any kind of closure is because cast and crew managed to pull out a series finale on one episode notice after having been renewed for the next season.

 

If they can't keep a commitment, they shouldn't make it.

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You'd kind of think that if ratings go up, then the show is earning more for the parent ship, so the budget could go up too.

 

I've worked for companies that somehow never had the money for the promised raises, even though it sure looked like we'd hit all the goals they'd set us. It's not a long-term survival strategy for the company - though the people in charge made out like bandits.

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The only reason the costly BSG hung on so long was that it was such an award-winning media darling--it would have been publicly embarrassing to pull the plug.

 

Actually, I was surprised to visit Wikipedia and find out that BSG only lasted four seasons. (Though with 75 episodes it lasted almost as long as Eureka -- 77 episodes -- with one fewer season.)

 

Overall, I can't think of the last time a scripted series got to season six on Syfy/Sci-Fi. If a show makes it to the third season, I start expecting the end to come soon.

 

Anyway, I came to say, "There are butts on Syfy now!"

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Between Dominion (angel orgies), Defiance (side boob bath scenes) and Spartacus (I haven't seen how they edit it, but . .  Spartacus) it appears the execs have designated Thursday as Naked Night. I can hear them yelling at producers, "There's not enough nudity in this episode! We need that TV-MA!"

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At least the Twilight Zone marathon will be on again this July 4.    I do look forward to it.   But can they PLEASE get a new promo for it.   I am so sick of the guy yelling for the gloves.   

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Between Dominion (angel orgies), Defiance (side boob bath scenes) and Spartacus (I haven't seen how they edit it, but . .  Spartacus) it appears the execs have designated Thursday as Naked Night. I can hear them yelling at producers, "There's not enough nudity in this episode! We need that TV-MA!"

 

LOL!!!

 

Speaking of Defiance, there was nice boobage in the bath scene in this week's ep.  

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Hello, 

 

  I used to talk on the old TWOP's SyFy thread and I remember that we were discussing them airing Spartacus (that has lots of nudity and swear words) on their station. Well, I was wondering if the show was a success or was it just a lot of pixels and bleeps? 

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Thomas Jane has been cast as Detective Miller, the lead in Syfy's The Expanse: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/thomas-jane-star-syfys-expanse-718034?

 

Jane's younger than I pictured the character; I think he's near retirement in the book. I always pictured Dean Stockwell, but he's too old.

 

Book Spoilers:

 

Interesting that they're billing him as the lead, rather than Holden, though that could be a THR misreading. I hope it doesn't mean they're getting rid of his death.

 

Naomi's the main character I'm interested in the casting of, at least until Bobbie shows up.

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Was there a change in management at Syfy? They got rid of all the light comedy stuff (Eureka, Warehouse 13) and seem to be replacing them with more "adult" fare (Thursday night). 

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Was there a change in management at Syfy? They got rid of all the light comedy stuff (Eureka, Warehouse 13) and seem to be replacing them with more "adult" fare (Thursday night). 

 

There must be something going on.  I was watching Definance and the whole tone has changed to let's pretend we're on pay cable. The show isn't any better really, just moving way closer to the line on nudity, etc.

 

I actually wonder if it's coming from higher up than the network because USA is doing the same thing.  Directive from Corporate, maybe?

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ParadoxLost, you might be right. From a review of the new USA show Satisfaction,

 

 

The cable giant USA is at a crossroads. Many of its shows, like Burn Notice, White Collar, and Suits, have been substantial hits for the network, but they've also, somewhat unfairly, branded the channel as one that aims only for lightweight good times, rather than anything with lasting permanence. The network has been trying to darken its blue skies — just a little bit — over the course of the past few years, a movement that reaches its apex in Satisfaction, debuting Thursday at 10 p.m. Eastern after fellow freshman Rush (about which, more below).

 

Sounds like the same thing that's happening on Syfy. 

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Sooooo, they're imagining greater by doing what other channels are already doing ( and some are doing very well)?   It couldn't be worse than Under The Dome  on CBS, right?

 

Actually, if the parent corporation is issuing the 'get darker' edict, it could be beneficial to SyFy, if they take the challenge on. The channel could:

*make a serious drama with SF leanings for an older audience during the week, especially now that the audience is segmented and dvrs are inexpensive. (Maybe something like a more serious version of Space Precinct or  a space Western more along the lines of The Big Valley? Common genres that could have SF added smartly and explore characters and setting?)

*make a cheap tween show with a harder SF bent to pull from Disney and some of the other animated fare (like on Cartoon Network/Boomerang) that can be stripped during the week. (Maybe a cross between Space Cases and Misfits?)

 

With the first type of show (I'm 48, and enjoy a good character/setting exploration with my harder science fiction), if more mainstream "olds" could get into it, they might recommend it to other family members and friends, especially those in The Revered Target Demo. For the second type, a more serious take could make the show more alluring to a tween to teen demo and add potential future viewers, something I hope SyFy's Corporate Overlords want for it.

 

I know, silly optimist. I'll show myself out.

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Actually, if the parent corporation is issuing the 'get darker' edict, it could be beneficial to SyFy, if they take the challenge on.

 

I think we've seen how they are going to respond.  Suddenly syndication isn't the devil and the ruin of the network.  They won't show old episodes of Stargate SG1 or Fringe or BSG, but they will buy Spartacus and blur and cut it just enough to get it too air on basic cable.

 

I saw the promos for the Almighty Johnsons and immediately thought about going to find the "Do they mean what I think they mean" and "its like feminism never happened" threads.

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SHark Week on SciFi channel begins this today.   Lots of Shark or at least weirdly attacking animals to look forward to like DinoCroc, Megapiranha, 2headed Shark Attack and lots of others.   All culminating in the long awaited premier of Sharknado2.

 

(some of the above is meant to be serious).

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Watched about 10 minutes of Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark yesterday, which was about as much as I could stomach. Then the moment came when Mega shark was deterred from taking a bite out a COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT by Mecha shark leaping heroically out of the water to intercept it, and well, there really are no words.

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My first reaction whenever I read that Syfy is going to produce a show based on source material that I like is "I really hope they don't screw this thing up."  For example, I didn't know that Redshirts is going to be a show on FX until I read Scalzi's post. Same author for both books. And I liked both, but I am far more excited about Redshirts. 

 

ETA, that zombie show they have coming up this fall looks absolutely horrible.

Edited by xaxat

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A semi-miracle has occurred.   No more WWE on Friday nights.   Come January they will be putting 12 Monkeys on Fridays at 9 p.m.   Bad news is that WWE will still be on the network somewhere.   But maybe they can put it on in the place of one of their reality shows.    Still has wrestling has no place on the SciFi channel, but at least they somewhat get they should show some SciFi still (at least until a new head comes in and changes everything again).

 

Too bad 12 Monkeys will be opposite Grimm.   But I can catch the 11 p.m. rerun, I guess.

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I just don't get why when Sci-Fi started with its own wresting league, they didn't go all out and give it some kind of sci-fi storyline. Like, maybe, there was an attempt to colonize a planet but the ship carrying the colonists was taken by an evil space emperor who now makes the colonists battle every week in a wrestling wring for his entertainment. Surely, there's a way to take the melodrama of wrestling and give it a sci-fi/fantasy twist.

 

Now, its clear they were just hoping they'd get the chance to show WWE but just make a knock-off, but it's too bad they didn't try to put their stamp on the format. Maybe they also didn't want to take the risk that it was a step too fake for wrestling fans.

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So the premise is all the characters wake up as blank slates with no memories? Sounds perfect for Mallozi and Mullie to write, none of that annoying backstory or personality stuff to deal with!

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Thomas Jane has been cast as Detective Miller, the lead in Syfy's The Expanse: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/thomas-jane-star-syfys-expanse-718034?

 

Jane's younger than I pictured the character; I think he's near retirement in the book. I always pictured Dean Stockwell, but he's too old.

 

Book Spoilers:

 

Interesting that they're billing him as the lead, rather than Holden, though that could be a THR misreading. I hope it doesn't mean they're getting rid of his death.

 

Naomi's the main character I'm interested in the casting of, at least until Bobbie shows up.

 

I swear to all the gods in the Norse, Greek, Roman and Egyptian pantheons, if they fuck this show up, I'm going to... well, I'm going to whine about it on the internet. Quite vociferously. And renew my vow to never watch anything that SyFy produces.

 

The books are great, and the series could be huge, if done right. Scifi, horror, a bit of romance, plenty of bromance. It ticks all the boxes. I didn't worry until I saw the casting for Holden and 

it's some babyfaced kid, and they're billing Thomas Jane as the star. If they make Miller the main character, and reduce Holden to sidekick status, I'll be fuming. But I can only hope it's a bait and switch to try and replicate a Game of Thrones style shock when Miller dies.

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I swear to all the gods in the Norse, Greek, Roman and Egyptian pantheons, if they fuck this show up, I'm going to... well, I'm going to whine about it on the internet. Quite vociferously. And renew my vow to never watch anything that SyFy produces.

 

The books are great, and the series could be huge, if done right. Scifi, horror, a bit of romance, plenty of bromance. It ticks all the boxes. I didn't worry until I saw the casting for Holden and 

it's some babyfaced kid, and they're billing Thomas Jane as the star. If they make Miller the main character, and reduce Holden to sidekick status, I'll be fuming. But I can only hope it's a bait and switch to try and replicate a Game of Thrones style shock when Miller dies.

 

No official word yet, but it looks like British actress Dominique Tipper is playing Naomi, and Cas Anvar will be Alex.

 

Never seen Tipper in anything, but she does look the part:

 

BrP3E1NCQAEF7_e.jpg

 

Going by those two, it's possible other people in Corey's recently followed list are on the show too: https://twitter.com/JamesSACorey/following That's probably not a very scientific method of working out casting information though.

Edited by ApathyMonger

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From Entertainment Weekly, "Syfy plans to lure you back with these 5 shows":

Syfy knows they messed up. Now they have a plan to win you back.

 

The cable network’s top executives won’t say this in such blunt language, but they acknowledge that somewhere along the line, the network missed an opportunity to have more great scripted dramas. It happened sometime after the name change from Sci Fi Channel to Syfy and the conclusion of Battlestar Galactica.

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But in terms of this new direction, I think when you look at the marketplace and you look at how passionate people are getting about shows—serialized shows specifically—the bar has been raised for the entire industry in terms of how well you have to execute your content to get that passionate core fan base that really acts as its own marketing in terms of word of mouth

 

I know this will sound smart-ass, but since he's stepping into this genre specifically, SF fans have been "passionate" since the 1960s. Has he not heard about Star Trek?  Yes, the production values have been raised in the last 50 years, but I don't think it is solely production values hat make fans passionate. Look at original Doctor Who and Star Trek, as two big examples.  (Please, don't misunderstand; I am pleased that Comcast is opening up the purse strings so that we get good concepts/scripts/sets/acting talent/etc..) It feels as if this gent, in this section, I trying to get folks to forget past faux pas and see that they are trying this "new direction"-- which is...good, basic storytelling? Even in serial format? Welcome to television, sir. ( Also, see: soap operas for passionate fans and word-of-mouth.)

 

So do you now think space operas can attract female viewers?

I passionately believe that. When you see the things that are working … I just went to go see Guardians of the Galaxy and it was not an audience of guys. When you’re talking about big-hit content that we can provide, you’re going to get everybody. At times sci-fi skews more male, but I think that’s changing and that’s an antiquated prejudice. My wife enjoys Game of Thrones as much as I do. I think if the storytelling is good and you can relate to the characters, you’ll get both.

 

Why is that even a question? Still, I want to hope that Mr. McGoldrick will put his money where his mouth is. I just sigh at the " I think that's changing"; it has been changing for quite a while. Also the last sentence makes me want to say "no shit."

 

I think I was more tired of the interviewer's questions than I was especially anything by Mr. McGoldrick's answers. He's saying what he needs to say. I am glad that he seems enthusiastic. Bringing someone in to try and get a new spin to what actually would be cool reality TV for a SF/F-heavy network should bring in wonderfully ambitious show concepts. I hope it pans out.

 

I like that he seems to believe that the channel's programming needs to be approached seriously.  I think that this seeming move to Serious SF, though, is leaving out lighter dramas just because. "Imagine Greater" doesn't automatically mean you can't have lighter shows as well. It feels like the channel is banking on these dramas hard, at the expense of appealing to an actually broad audience. One that appreciates not only Ascension (or at least it's premise) and Face-Off, but Eureka and Tremors.

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Why is it automatically assumed that women don't like scifi?   Women have loved scifi for decades.   Some of the writers of the golden age of scifi were women.   

 

I totally agree that not all scifi has to be heavy.   I much preferred original flavor, campy, Battlestar Galatica to the "gritty, updated" version.   Loved Tremors.  Really loved it.   Eureka and Warehouse 13 were good fun.   But I would also love to see Connie Willis' time travel books made into movies.   And that lady does gritty, depression like nobody's business.

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The Expanse has started filming so they've confirmed the rest of the cast: http://deadline.com/2014/10/dominique-tipper-wes-chatham-cast-the-expanse-syfy-space-drama-series-1201266828/

 

 

Dominique Tipper (Vampire Academy), Cas Anvar (Olympus), and Wes Chatham (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) have signed on as series regulars. Additionally, Jonathan Banks (Community, Breaking Bad), Paulo Costanzo (Royal Pains), and Jay Hernandez (Nashville, Gang Related) will appear as guest stars in the thriller’s first season, which has begun shooting in Toronto. They join previously announced Thomas Jane, Florence Faivre, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Steven Straight. Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) will direct the first two episodes of the series slated to premiere on Syfy in 2015.

 

...

 

Tipper plays Naomi Nagata, a native of “The Belt” and the brilliant Chief Engineer of the Canterbury who prefers dealing with machines rather than people. Anvar is retired Martian Navy pilot Alex Kamal, now at the helm of Canterbury. Chatham plays Amos, an Earth-born engineer running from a dark past. Banks plays the veteran Executive Officer of the ice-freighter Canterbury. Costanzo plays Medical Technican Shed Garvy, and Hernandez portrays Miller’s new partner, Havelock, an itinerant Earth cop.

 

Chatham's another actor much younger than the character in the books, IIRC.

 

It doesn't say, but I'm guessing Faivre is Julie Mao.

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I may have to watch this, if SyFy will allow it on Hulu/Hulu+! Jonathan Banks, Paulo Costanza, Thomas Jane and the amazing Shohreh Aghdashloo?! How can I not want to see that?

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From the press release:

 

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities.

 

Um no.  Maybe they aspire to this but that is not their network identity.

 

I give them credit, they do seem to be trying but I've been burned so many times going back to Farscape that it hard to imagine going back on my intent not to give this network another chance.

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Shohreh Aghdashloo

 

She's not really how I pictured Avasarala, but then, it seems few of the actors so far fit the pictures I had. Dominique Tipper does, to a degree (though for convenience's sake, I always just pictured Naomi as Gina Torres).

 

Looking at IMDB... Ade is played by a very white, very blond woman named Kristina Hager. Did I just imagine this or was she not described as Nigerian? I'm going to have to grab Leviathan Wakes off my bookshelf and have another look.

 

Delving into this a little further, it looks like Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (collectively known as James S.A. Corey) are involved in producing the show, so my hopes just went up a little that it will make it to screen relatively intact.

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Looking at IMDB... Ade is played by a very white, very blond woman named Kristina Hager. Did I just imagine this or was she not described as Nigerian? I'm going to have to grab Leviathan Wakes off my bookshelf and have another look.

 

She's described as having a Nigerian accent at least. She's a fairly minor character, relatively speaking though.

 

I should probably go request an Expanse forum for this sort of discussion.

Edited by ApathyMonger
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She's described as having a Nigerian accent at least. She's a fairly minor character, relatively speaking though.

 

I should probably go request an Expanse forum for this sort of discussion.

 

She is minor, but it just seems odd to go that way in casting. What's the point of it?

 

And yes, we should have an Expanse forum, where I can either gush uncontrollably or complain bitterly. It's going to be one or the other.

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Why on earth is SyFy airing a 'CSI-Crime Scene Investigation' marathon today and tomorrow?  It can be science-y, but it definitely isn't scifi.  (However, I have to admit that I was a little interested when I saw the listings, because I didn't watch the show when it first came on and since they are starting with the 'Pilot' right now, I thought I could start to catch up.  But, I now realize that they are just choosing a few episodes from each season and are skipping too much for me to watch seriously. I might keep it on in the background, since there's not much else to watch, but seriously-- 'CSI' on SyFy?)

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Do they not own the rights to content that originally aired on their network? (BSG, SG, Farscape etc.) Or do they think people won't watch? Because taking hand me downs from CBS is really not the way to build a network brand. 

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I was wondering why they were showing a CBS show, but I did a little googling and I see that 'CSI' is filmed at Universal Studios and the SyFy channel is owned by NBC Universal.  I guess that's the connection?  (I already knew that SyFy was owned by NBC Universal, because Cable One is fighting with that company and will likely drop all of the channels owned by NBCU soon, including SyFy.)  I wonder if the marathon was just for that one two-day period, or if they will be showing it more often.

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It looks like they are going with Henson's Creature Shop and Wizard Wars today, which really isn't my thing. I'm firmly rooted in the 20th century, so I don't buy DVDs or Blu Ray or have a Hulu/Netflix subscription, so it's kind of disappointing that Syfy doesn't use occasions like this to re-air some of the great content they have in the vault.

 

BBCA is running a Who marathon and I just watched The Girl in the Fireplace for the first time since it originally aired. And it was great. Why can't Syfy give me BSG's 33, or SG-1's Window of Opportunity?

Edited by xaxat
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Very happy to find this thread, especially since I *cough*no longer subscribe to cable*cough* and very happy to see SyFy is supporting the creation of more space opera and less reality fare.

ETA: I just noticed that Mike Vogel (Under The Dome) is going to star in a 6-hour SyFy mini-series of Childhood's End: http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/11/21/mike-vogel-childhoods-end/

Question: Does anyone know what the time span is between the airing of a SyFy original movie and being able to watch it on Hulu? I just finally saw Sharknado 2 on Hulu, but I'm guessing it didn't take 5 months for it to get there. I was hoping to catch Christmas Icetastrophe while other programs are still on hiatus.

Edited by shapeshifter

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I'm firmly rooted in the 20th century, so I don't buy DVDs or Blu Ray or have a Hulu/Netflix subscription, so it's kind of disappointing that Syfy doesn't use occasions like this to re-air some of the great content they have in the vault.

 

 

I am sooo glad I am not alone in this Universe, xaxat!  I watch TV on my TV, and read emails & these forums on my laptop, which actually sits on my lap.  But I still don't own a cellphone, and probably never will.  :-)

 

I want classic SciFi (not to be confused with SyFy - WTF was THAT name-change reasoning?).

 

Now get off my lawn!  :-)

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I want classic SciFi (not to be confused with SyFy - WTF was THAT name-change reasoning?).

Now get off my lawn! :-)

I'm probably older than either of you, but I have the answer to why SyFy: It's an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) branding and marketing move. This is best explained by example. For instance, you could compare Google search results for CSI scifi with search results for CSI SyFy.

Also, if you see a link beginning with www.syfy.com you know it's the "real" SyFy network, and not a link to malware that is going to hijack your computer.

At least that's my understanding of the rationale. But I've been tasked to create websites with a lot of silly rationales behind design features that are counter-intuitive to the person using the website, so just because I can explain it doesn't mean I think it's a good idea.

Edited by shapeshifter
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