SyFy Looking at Cooking, Talk Shows?!?

By Tim Surette

Sep 03, 2009

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Whines About Poor Programming Decisions by a Network We Fear is Going Down the Tubes. Today we'll be discussing one of our favorites, SciFi Channel SyFy, which is in the process of "redefining" itself -- much like a post-pubescent woman does upon entering high school.

That is, it sacrifices substance and forgets where it came from in an attempt to get more attention. And SyFy's version of a cleavage-baring tube top and high heels is (possibly) a foray into cooking and talk shows. To this we say, "SyFy, stop being such a damn slut!"

According to an article on the all-things-science-fiction blog io9, a "source" -- who's had meetings with the soul-crushing suits that run the new SyFy -- claims the network is looking at developing a cooking show and a talk show, thus further separating itself from the realm of the nerds.

This is both incredibly shocking and totally unsurprising. We all saw this coming with the universally hated re-branding of SciFi Channel as SyFy. Genre channels don't want to stay genre channels anymore -- not in an age of mega-mergers like NBC/Universal (which owns SyFy), AOL/Time Warner, and KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, where watering down tastes can maximize profit and minimizing the niche is the order of the day. Why serve one audience well when you can slap some mediocrity on a platter and serve it to the masses?

There are something like 4 billion cable and satellite channels out there, being beamed and streamed via orbiting robots and vines of coaxial cable. Is it too much to ask for one channel to devote itself to one of the most sacred genres in television? Apparently so.

Mark Stern, SyFy's original programming VP, said this to io9: "In regards to reality, we're developing all sorts of ideas, and there is an opportunity to push the envelope a bit with the new brand; to see where 'Imagine Greater' might take us. That said, as with our scripted programming, anything we do needs to fit within a speculative genre, and the idea that we're celebrating the imagination. So, if we were to do a 'cooking show,' it definitely wouldn't be a normal, conventional cooking show."

SyFy does have reality shows, which include Ghost Hunters and its kin. But no one would argue that Ghost Hunters still falls under the science-fiction umbrella. And I would rather watch hours of Mansquito and Boa vs. Python than a minute of a show where some goon dresses up as a Vulcan and teaches me how to toss a Romulan Salad (snicker).

Suddenly, the sci-fi lite Warehouse 13 looks a lot better.

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  • JamesDark0 May 18, 2011

    i cancelled my cable TV. i got netflix's it cheaper, and between that and surf the channel and hulu i can watch what and when i want. wtf the stupid FY channel. you killed the Stargate shows that put you on the map. hay high up exec how do you know where your going if you dont look back . whats the use of having ends if you loose all your friends. cooking shows rip off's of BBC television thats currently running being human a vampire werewolf and a ghost for real. i am done with it, the syfy channel forgot the ppl who made them great and is now doing the w/e the father network says big mistake

  • JamesDark0 May 18, 2011

    the syfy channel is done .they are the new MTV, i am just waiting for episodes of jersey shore to show up. they cancelled sgu wtf. they blamed it on ratings OK. well maybe they shouldn\'t have taken a 7 month hiatus in the middle of the season. I am a musician and i have played in bands 20 yrs . and the best way to loose Ur audience is to take to many breaks during a show.. if they had shot all the episodes or at least most of them then waited and time scaled the release dates of the newer episodes so no break 1,2,3,4,5,6,.....................a yr later ok 7, o **** wwe is a bigger show lets move sgu from Friday to sat then Mon the Tuesday 8,9,10,11,12, mid season break. OK releasing season 1.5, repeat the season again 13,14,15, etc. horrible strategy guys oh **** lets put on ghost hunters a bunch of guys running around a building saying they see things i never saw **** the syfy channel is done

  • Geek_Queen Oct 29, 2010

    Cooking shows on Syfy?! WTF

  • BadWolf10 Sep 11, 2009

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    Mark Stern has proven himself completely out of touch and incompetent. He should be IMMEDIATELY fired with loss of all contractual compensation of ANY kind. Likewise, he should NEVER be allowed to work in the entertainment industry in any way shape or form EVER again.

  • DanaAdams Sep 10, 2009

    What a stupid idea! This is exactly why I have stopped watching so many other networks! NO MORE STUPID REALITY/GAME/MAKEOVER SHOWS!!! For the love of GOD!

  • xrayangiodoc Sep 10, 2009

    Well, it looks like something else which will cause an immediate channel change. Other things that cause this on SyFy include Ghosthunters, Destination Truth and Wrestling!

  • moondreamie Sep 10, 2009

    Looks like I'm not going to be watching SLY Fly anymore. Why go there when there are a million other networks showing the same crap? I just won't have to surf as long. Too bad there isn't someone else who wants to put a Science Fiction/Fantasy network on Cable.

  • alleyangel Sep 09, 2009

    Please me it is not true. Cooking and talk shows on sci-fi. Have you people lost it. The field of good sci-fi shows are already so narrowed compared to other channels. We have already lost most of the best soaps on tv and in turn have talk and cooking shows to watch. Do you want to see how to make a dish of food made or see a doctor take an organ out of a person. yuk to both. The other waste of tv viewing and a loss of money and time is the infomercial shows on every channel almost from daytime to any time slot on to many channels. News and sports channels by the bucket full to watch and they are all telling us the same thing which is debateable. You can watch any show on tv you want except the ones that are worth watching. I am really worried about what I am going to be subjected to this season and whether I am going to be able to watch tv or will I be forced by the decision makers on each channel to get out my movies. Reality shows, there are some good ones out there. All of the talent reality shows are great. I like the undiscovered talent shows because not only are they entertaining but they help people that have real talent to get their foot in the door easier than ever. All reality that help people,The Biggest Looser is a 10, the design competition shows, the house hunting helps people watching learn the do's and don'ts of buying and selling a home.There is just way to much I could say about the choices or lack of. I will close with how many more shows is Oprah going to put on the air? Answer: as many as she wants to because she has the money and with the money you get the power. Her show is so old and outdated. Maybe she could stay at home and just put more shows on tv. It is great that she is helping a few people to make some of the money like she has. I would rather help all the regular struggling people that need the help. The top number one reality show is of course the Home Extreme Makeover, now they really help needy people that can't help themselves. I wish that they could help my daughter that is a single mother with a 20 year old profoundly disabled son. Her house is in bad shape and it takes all she can do to keep food on the table with no money left for home repairs. She is trying to keep her car running because she has to travel for her job. I wonder how much tv and what channels I will be watching this season if any. I can only hope.

  • bookworm51 Sep 09, 2009

    I think a cooking show related to either fantasy or science fiction is ridiculously far-fetched, and I certainly won't be watching that. A talk show might be legitimate if the guests were limited to scifi writers and/or actors, and I might even watch that if they had a guest I was interested in. I agree with everyone else who detests the name change--sounds like they're afraid people can't spell the old name because it had a silent c in it. I do enjoy Warehouse 13, although the two main characters need to be better defined. If the new SyFy channel doesn't continue to provide good scifi and/or fantasy, I'll get my science fiction and fantasy from Fox (e.g., Fringe), the CW, and any other network that offers it and forget the SyFy channel.

  • silverswan1 Sep 09, 2009

    GH must not be too bad since they now have GHI and Destination Truth is returning, I like Eureka, W13, Estate of Panic was fun, BSG and Stargate always welcome. I watch ECW because I already watch WWE brands on other stations which get bumped by one either tennis or baseball and a Dog Show[which I like too, but on weekends]. How the heck does tennis pop up on USA? It's not ESPN ! I can see some USA shows going to Fox even Monk, Psych that are funny.

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