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Sci Fi Goes SyFy? Ew.

Syfy One of my favorite television networks is about to undergo a dramatic change in the next six-to-12 months. NBC Universal is changing the Sci Fi network's name to, sigh, SyFy.

Says Tim Brooks, the man who helped launch the network 16 years ago:

“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.”

Not everyone is feeling the love, however. Sci Fi co-founder Mitch Rubenstein wrote

"SyFy, say it's not so!" wrote channel originator Mitch Rubenstein on his website, Hollywood.com. "What would Isaac [Asimov] have said if the name was instead SyFy Channel? He would have said (we believe): 'That's just plain dumb.'"

Apparently back in the early 90s, when the channel was conceived, Rubenstein and co. were urged to call the network the SF Channel, SF denoting the hardcore, details-orientated part of science fiction. The creators went with Sci Fi to cast a wider net.

SyFy seems nothing like that; at least Sci Fi were the beginnings of actually spelling out the genre; SyFy sounds like some half-cocked Sylvester Stallone project. Even worse: they culled the new name from the parlance of texting.

“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it. It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

NBC Universal also acknowledges that Sci Fi intends to branch out, develop a Sci Fi kids, etc., which is difficult for branding because the name experience genericide long ago.

Whatever the reason, I think it's lame. I like Sci Fi. I like the idea of a channel for people like me, people who like video games, people who actually did sit in her mom's basement playing "Legend of Zelda" in elementary or "Silent Hill" in high school. In the quest to widen their demographic for the advertising dollar, it never does well to take a jab at the base which sustained you to this point.

Or maybe I'm just a geek who's resistant to such a change.

Source, source.

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Stupid frakking change. Seriously? WTF? Waste of time and money. It's quite mind-blowing and totally an example of "branding" absurdity.


I've taken to calling the new SyFy "Siffy" like syphillus. I think this is the stupidest thing they have ever done. Talk about alienating your core audience.
It's a good thing MamaPop doesn't have any 'I's in it cos then you'd have to convert them to 'Y's to stay hip.


Gross. I'm a relatively younger, WOMAN that happens to really like the SciFi channel & it's content. I've never stayed in my basement playing Legend of Zelda instead of cultivating a social life nor have I built a computer from scratch. So changing the channel's name really makes me kinda hate the channel for being stupid. SyFy looks retarted. Do not like!

Ps. If I were to text SciFi it definitely wouldn't look like SyFy. That "y" thing totally bugs my brain.


I still say they should have changed it to PsiPhi. Would have attracted math nerds AND frat boys. Win-win.

Mr Lady

Diane for the win. I've been calling it siffy, too, but I'd wear a tshirt that said PsiPhi, for sure.

shine (the artist formerly known as meshealle)

My vote's for PsiPhi, good call Diane!


Diane DOES win!


Coming soon from SyFy: "Mansquito II: Mansquyto".


What branding genuises came up with this? SyFy has gay camp written all over it.

Imagine greater? What does that even mean? Greater profits?


Imagyn Grytr.

heh heh


The buzz in the designer world is that "Syfy" is able to become a trademarked logo, while "Sci Fi" is not, as it is a phrase in common parlance.


Deidre and Diane: total comedy gold.


yeah, we don't wanna be associated with nerds and geeks, we'd rather be associated with kids who can't spell!

their best programming has always been the hour-long shows and even some of their miniseries programming has been decent. maybe if they'd stop running freaking wrestling and crappy movies about giant alligators or giant sharks or giant anything and actually showed some decent programming people would start watching again.


Anyone notice the lack of creativity with the Saturday night movie lately?

Polar Storm
Sea Beast

Talk about literal. I am waiting for: Really Big Angry Snake Who is Mad You Killed Her Baby or possible Was That a Yeti?


These comments are killing me. You crazy bunch of nerds, you.


@blackeyedgirl: lol

I gotta say, I love those movies. I do a lot of crafting and I need something on that I'm not exactly watching but is filling in the space when the task I'm working on is tedious but needs my full attention.

SciFi is the perfect television channel.

Sigh. Fie!


Soooo stupid. I've been a fan of the genre for years - I read tons of books & have enjoyed a lot of the scifi stores. Here's an idea - more quality programming & stop cancelling cool shows like the Dresden files. Why the heck isn't SciFi hopping on more series like the Legend of the Speaker series that's on ABC right now? Why didn't they pick up shows like Firefly when they get canceled. If you want women to watch your shows, have more shows where the relationships are interesting - like Eureka or everyone's fave Battlestar. Option more popular book series - why did HBO end up with the Southern Vampire series? Slapping a new name on the same old stuff doesn't fool advertising savvy viewers, which is what most SciFi watchers are.


Ditto: Iambellaluna, Makyo, and Christy!

Deidre, we usually have those shows running in the background on Saturdays when we have to clean house because we view them as comedies and that puts us in a good mood despite the piles of laundry! Plus, they run them so much that you know what is happening even when you're in the other room.

That said, I do wish they'd put on more thought-provoking programming WHICH IS the entire science fiction genre's purpose--to make people think. If left SciFi, there would not be a need then to clarify with "imagine greater". You are all right; their programming over the last few years has watered down the intent of actual science fiction. OOPS! I might just have convinced myself to let them change it only because then it would free the true genre from the ridiculous one they broadcast! SyFy it is! (exception- Ghost Hunters, totally love it--can't help it!)

Just wait though until our kids start labeling their frog dissection notes "syence".

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