Monday, March 16, 2009


I saw this on The Swivet and almost thought it was a joke. And then I clicked through and read the article and... still thought it was a joke. But it's not, is it?

It appears that in an attempt to distance itself from "geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that" the Sci Fi Channel will be... um, changing it's name to SyFy.

I'm sorry. I'm still not sure this isn't a joke. It's not April 1st, right?

You can get the lowdown on the logic here.

And here's the discussion on


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Blogger A. Hartman Adams said...

I hoped it was a joke, too.
Now, after reading through most of the 483 comments on in a desperate attempt to find a positive one (which would give me a perspective to balance out my wtf? reaction) I'm actually kind of depressed.

Does it make sense to say that it just looks gross? That's not the most accurate descriptor, I know, but that's the first thing that came to mind. Is muddling and mashing words the only way to look hip and cool these days?

I was particularly amused by this reaction:


By Marketing_Genius at 4:50 PM ON 03/16/09

Actually I'm the amazing marketer who thought of this brilliant idea. Here's a sneak peek at the other re-branding changes coming to TV:

The Food Network --> Fude
The Learning Channel --> LurnN
USA --> US
Lifetime --> LyfeTyme

Also, I was paid $1,000,000 for the SyFy rebranding effort so it must be a good idea.


7:45 PM  
Blogger Ahimsa said...

I chuckled over this too. But considering the crap they put on this channel, they're almost doing us a favor by separating themselves from "sci-fi" of the Asimov, Stephenson, Morgan, etc variety.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are they planning on going after a new demographic? What, if any, programming changes will make SyFy different from Sci-Fi? Strange re-branding campaign.

10:27 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Love that reaction. So many of them are funny, though, and none of them that I saw were positive. I wonder if that's troubling to the SciFi execs? Or are they hoping to get rid of the people that actually pay attention to what's on their channel in search of this new audience?

A Jo Ker,

Thanks for writing. I'm with you on that reference to fine SF authors. I choose to define the term broadly. Yes, it includes a lot of silly stuff, but it also includes works and authors that I think are some of the smartest and most engaging writers out there. That's a big part of what defines the term for me.

Hi Steven,

It sounds like they have some new programs in mind that aren't necessarily in space or the future, etc, but that's not the reason for the name change. Clearly, it's not a substance change; it's a non-substance change.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Bryan Russell said...

Makes me think Syphilis. Oh, sorry, I mean Syfylis. It'll be a big hit in the STD suffering demographic.

I suppose, though, my serious thougt is "who cares?", though I don't mean that in a snippy way. Really, though, do most people care about the name of the channel that they watch their shows on? I mean, does it matter if it's Sci-Fi or SyFy or NBC or ABC or WXYZC? I assume what's relevant in the end is the programming and whether it draws a lot of viewers or not.

And the mere thought of the Syfylis channel will amuse me to no end, so it can't be all that bad. Right?

11:18 AM  
Blogger A. Hartman Adams said...

Ultimately, Ink, I think you're right. There are greater concerns in this world, and we should take our laughs where we can get them. Moreover, I'm all for genre melting, which seems to be what they're going for (even though they're at great risk of genre dumbing-down rather than melting).

It's just that this change strikes me as silly and a little desperate. Take the slogan "Imagine Greater" for example. Are they finally jumping "Think Different"-style slogan bandwagon? There's a little bit of a Johnny-come-lately flavor to it.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

Huh, I thought it said SyFRY, like as in French Fries. So I thought they were switching to food or something.

But now I see it's just Fy. As in... you know I can't think of anything.

Well, anyway, my hats off to whoever pitched this idea - that person could sell deep freezers to polar bears.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Somehow that's almost worse. I mean is it some sort of 1337 speak??

5:59 PM  

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