Sad Reality: Syfy Continues to Move Further Away From Sci-Fi

You guys love to sound off about your hatred for Syfy's push into reality programming, so get your rage ready: The network, once a haven for quality science-fiction shows such as Battlestar Galactica, yesterday announced that it has 13 more reality projects in the works. Compare that to the four scripted programs in its pipeline, and it's obvious that Syfy isn't changing its controversial course at all.

In SyFy's defense, the shift toward more reality programming makes business sense. Reality shows are cheap to make, they're fairly interchangeable, and the risk involved in developing them is far less great than that of their scripted counterparts. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

But unless we're going to get a cut of the profits, what good does Syfy's keen business sense do for us? What should scare people more is the type of reality programming Syfy is considering. Marcel's Quantum Kitchen debuted last night, and for the life of me I could not figure out why that show is on Syfy at all. Aside from the fact that there's a whole host of things wrong with the show, it doesn't really have a science-fiction element at all. And, unfortunately, it looks like Marcel's will soon have company in the non-sci-fi department. What follows are the shows of SyFy's just-announced reality slate; let's take a look and grade their sci-fi relevance on a scale of 1 to 10.

Haunted Collector

Ghostologist John Zaffis travels the world hunting for haunted objects, such as paintings and jewelry. (premiering in June)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 6. Ghosts certainly qualify as part of the genre. But the premise seems more suited for The History Channel.

Legend Quest

Symbologist Ashley Cowie travels the world looking for relics that have mystical significance. (premiering in July)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 3. Another one for History Channel, right?

Paranormal Witness

Docudrama re-telling stories from people who witnessed paranormal experiences first-hand. (premiering in September)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 7. But do we really need more ghost shows?

Culture Shock with Tommy Lee

Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee travels the world to uncover rituals and other mysteries of secret societies. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 2. What's sci-fi about this other than Tommy Lee being an alien?

Monster Man

Monster-maker Cleve Hall makes creatures for Hollywood studios. This show follows his business and his strange family. (in development.)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 9. If Face Off works for Syfy, so does this.

Stunts Unlimited

This series goes behind the scenes of Stunts Unlimited, a company of stuntmen who do dangerous things for films. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 0. Unless they're jumping out of spaceships, how is this even remotely related to science fiction?

Hi-Tech Hoaxes

Think Punk'd with supernatural-themed pranks on unsuspecting folks. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 5. But boy is this a stretch!

Dinner with Deepak

Spiritual author Dr. Deepak Chopra has conversations about politics, the supernatural, and spiritual matters with other intellectuals over dinner. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 3. There's some potential to be enlightening. And lots of potential to be utterly boring.

Tyler Shields

A docudrama following photographer Tyler Shields as he creates unusual photos of celebs and models. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 0. A big fat zero.

Overthunk

Each week, two teams of four talented creators build contraptions designed to accomplish a specific task. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 0. If the "contraptions" were robots, maybe.

Change the Day You Die

Straight from the press release: "An inspiring new reality series that uses state-of-the-art science to dramatically transport its participants into the future to face their own self-inflicted demise. Each of the seemingly healthy, unsuspecting candidates—nominated by friends, family and loved ones—will go on a 10-week transformational journey where they must master a series of mental and physical challenges designed to reverse their bad habits and add back valuable lost years to their lives. Through medical-condition simulators, life-enhancing technology, unique graphics, and special effects, each participant will experience firsthand the grim reality of their potential future so that they have the opportunity to change their ways before it's too late." (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: n/a. What is this even about?

Imagination Nation

Gadget freaks Hammacher Schlemmer go on the road to talk to inventors about new products for their mail-order catalog business. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 1. If you've perused a Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, you know there are some sci-fi-ish gizmos in there. But there are even more products to help you find your golf ball.

America's Smartest Kids

A reality competition where kids vie for the title of (wait for it) America's Smartest Kid. (in development)
Sci-Fi Meter Says: 0. Unless these kids have psychic powers or can start fires with their minds, we fail to see how this is sci-fi related.



As far as scripted programming goes, things look a lot better. Syfy has one scripted show debuting this summer, and three more in development. There also seems to be a stress on adding comedies to its lineup, as all three in the works are laughers.


Alphas

A crack team of individuals with extraordinary mental and physical powers solves cases the FBI, CIA, and other agencies can't handle. (July)



Three Inches

A dramedy about people with less-than-super powers, such as the ability to move objects with one's mind... but only three inches. (in development)

In the Dark

A comedy that follows inept ghost hunters as they track down spooks. (in development)

Me and Lee

A 20-something dude has back surgery, and when it's botched, Lee Majors steps in to help him become a bionic man. (in development)


Alright, let's hear it: What do you think of SyFy's new slate of programming?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Nothing Sci-Fi about Syfy anymore. Good luck you lost a viewer (many I'm sure).
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syfy.team@nbcuni.com this is the email address you should all get in contact with your opinions, everyone can be an armchair critic but only the special people can change things, if they dont know that their core audience detest the way its changed then they cannot do anything about it...... write, shout scream and put your opinions accross, that we will stop watching the channel and turn to illegally downloading series WE want to watch, Reality shows have been killing sci fi for years and it has to stop, how bout we all write our own reality show where the underdog viewers fight back against the big corporation and save our cancelled shows, shows that deserve more seasons and ultimatley take over the station and air just Sci FI, bring back Farscape, Caprica, Heroes, Stargate, Firefly and many many more ........there are hundreds of banal tv channels, stick the reality crap on there and just put on our beloved sci fi, its therapy for us, pure escapism from our trials and tribulations of life, why the hell would we want to escape to reality when we live it everyday, we want super powers, aliens, future technology, hybrids, telepathic abilities, weird deformities, we want the fantasy and we will get it !!!!!!
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What the blazes does Professional Wrestling have to do with Sci-Fi or even horror? It isn't like they wrestle in some strength empowering gear or take a drug to turn them into flesh eating zombies until it wears off. It is reality TV that has nothing to do with the theme!! The channel was better when all they did was show old TV shows and series in rerun. At least then they were being honest to us.



It is OK, if they want to do this with their channel, but could they at least change the name AND release any and all trademarks, copyrights, etc to anything dealing with Science Fiction they own so someone can come and create a REAL Sci-Fi Channel?



I'm finding I watch the channel less and less each season.
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Haunted Collector/Legend Quest = Auction Kings
Paranormal Witness = A Haunting
Hi-Tech Hoaxes = Scare Tactics
Overthunk = The Colony
Change the Day You Die = Intervention
In the Dark = Ghostbusters
Me and Lee = The Six Million Dollar Man
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If I wanted reality I wouldn't be watching tv.
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I remember when sci fi had actual science fiction authors, who would discuss their novels, and talk about the genre in general. It had a lot of potential - but they blew it - right out the airlock.
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I despise SyFy. They canceled Stargate, and then they canceled Stargate, and then they even canceled Stargate, too! Now they have nothing worth watching on their **** channel. Universe wasn't the best show on TV, but it was the only good sci-fi show left. And I truly wanted to see how it would end. Now everything\'s left hanging in the breeze.

Please die, SyFy. And everyone who you're made up of.
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They've forgotten how to spell "Sci-Fi", now they've forgotten what they were about. Both Sci-Fi and Cartoon Network on jumping on the Reality bandwagon.
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That's because Comcast a peace of shit company bought NBC which owned syfy.
Every one should drop comcast cable and get something else. Do like I do stop watching the show. This will drop the rating to nothing. And the will either sell or close down the show . greedy comcast will sell because nobody would want to lose money.
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They made sure I would never watch their channel again when they cancelled the last true sci-fi show on the whole channel. Goodbye Stargate. We will miss you.
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SGU was a reality TV show. So I don't see much changing here.
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Change the Way you Die sounds like it could have Sci-Fi elements at least in it. I don't have this channel anyhow so the news doesn't affect me but it seems odd to have so many non sci-fi shows on a sci-fi network...I've learned to accept supernatural stuff on sci-fi networks but I'll never embrace things like the Stunt show and Tyler Shields on said networks.
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What the hell are these clowns on comcast thinking. Don't they now most people have abandoned the syfy Chanel because of these crappy shows.

You now Obama approved the nbc merger.
Actually that was a lady in the FCC and she then quit and got a really good position in comcast after it was approved.
This country is like the syfy channel and the politaians are like comcast. You figured when the lady working for the FCC approved it was a conflict of interest going to work for comcast . but no investigation.
The curuption is so high . this country is headed down very fast. Not many more years before this country economy collapses.
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@kevlong67



Caprica only had one season -.-
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I gave up on syfy when the powers that be sunk SGUI liked that show.
There are so many reality shows on tv that , the boob tube is for the lame .
So many channels offered yet no quality to watch... SO SAD.
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At least Starz is showing Torchwood. To hell with SyFy and their corporate masters who ruin everything they touch. All we as viewers can do is continue to watch networks that invest in quality programming.
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They actually stated publicly that they would be officially trying to eventually remove all science fiction type content way back in 1996 (not sure of the exact year). This was after one of the several corporate mergers that took place with the network.
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I'm done with SyFy and hope someone else takes the name SciFi channel since they don't want it. They lost me when they cancelled Caprica. Not that I particularly enjoyed the show but I kept the faith, hoping it would get good and they cancelled it after the 4th episode in the 2nd season. They've done that to their fans again and again for a long time -- creating new worlds, expecting us to watch their garbage, then cancelling them just when the writers get a feel for the story. If they are going to continue that they should goto a model that tells the whole story in one season. It would at least set expectations for the fans.
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I liked Marcel's Quantum Kitchen, but it's definitely on the wrong network. SciFi started going down the tubes when they changed their name to "SyFy".
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Alphas is just a new version of the champions by the sound of it.
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syfy is going down the drain, horrible, just horible
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I will give up on Sci-Fi after SGU ends next year unless they don't also cancel Warehouse 13 and Sanctuary... They were stupid enough to cancel SGU and now they put on these crappy shows!! I hope sanctuary and warehouse 13 don't suffer because of the new shows. I still like them.
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SyFy is slowly bleading to dead. If they continue in this same trend they won't see the end of next year. Hopefully they will wise up and change direction, otherwise we should let Sheldon have a go at them.
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Sounds like a bunch of crap to me!
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Warehouse 13, Eureka and Haven are all the same show really... props to Haven for having less comic relief tho.

The only redeeming show they had was Caprica, but it was apparently too smart for the intended audience.

As for this article, what happened to Blood and Chrome; the dumbed down Caprica to appeal to BSG fans?
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ok, yeah, reality tv sucks. but hey, remember the good stuff? Warehouse 13, Eureka, Haven and even Merlin now. The Being Human remake is watchable, too. But seriously what lame-brain decided to show WWE Smackdown?? Maybe they're wearing anti-gravity belts to keep their speedos up.
Regardless, there's still really good programming on Syfy so just support those and the network will notice. Cheers!
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its the death of scifi opps i mean SyFy sad day indeed one less channel i will be watching
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stupid to cancel SGU
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The alarm bells went off for me when Syfy added WWE Raw to the schedule. What does it have to do with Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror. OK, maybe it is part of the horror cuisine, but I doubt it.

I watch the channel for the Science Fiction series and based upon their scheduling, it looks like the channel is less about Fiction and Science with each passing season. I'm not sure who is watching the channel, but maybe they'll do us a favor and talk the powers that be into yet another name change -- The Reality Channel.

I'm sure with a name like the one above, the channel will feel right at home with its new purpose. Also I'd ask Comcast to start a new channel for those who want to watch Science Fiction TV Series! I'll even pay a per-month charge for GOOD Science Fiction TV.
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Syfy EPIC FAIL!!!!!!

Wulf Mad Angry Disgusted Howla!

http://jdwn1976.promodj.com/
joedawulfnoir @reverbnation, @soundcloud & @mixcloud
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I tried watching Quantum Kitchen but it was just that arrogant douche living up to his Top Chef Rep. There was no science or fiction involved to speak of. Just a lame duck reality show that doesn't even focus on the cooking! Good Eats is more Sci-fi than Quantum Kitchen. I got 10 minutes in an turned it off... If they wanted a good cooking show they could have tried for the real man from Top Chef, Richard. Better yet, Chef/Owner of WD50 Wylie Dufresne. Marcel is just good for disgusting foams...
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I want SCI FI FANTASY. Not mentally challenged people that have diluted there sense of reality until the only job they can get is selling there soul to a 40 page non disclosure contract signed in blood pricked from a ghosts finger using the haunted ivory pick mysteriously found in the bottom of a cereal box by a ouija board using descendant of the first Salem witches. "Its all REAL!! WE SWEAR!! we even have the professionals to prove it!" Screw you SyFy, you just lost another viewer. (TOMMY LEE? are you kidding?!?)
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Hey, SeeFee, in honor of your new lineup, your current lineup, and to give a nod to the origin of your first name, I humbly submit a suggestion for your NEW new name. . . wait for it, . . . GhoCrap
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Awful, awful, awful! Take those goggles off of those arrogant, idiotic chefs and most of all put them where they belong - at 1 a.m. midweek on the Food Network between Ginsu Knife infomercials!
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it all started whe they changed the name from sci-fi channel to syfy!!!
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i might watch Alpha, but that's it. I like Marcel's Quantum Kitchen, it will help fill the void left by the cancelation of Ace Of Cakes, but it definitely doesn't belong on Syfy, it belongs on Food Network or Cooking Channel, or maybe Discovery, but mostly the others.
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We should all just boycot the channel until they bring back Stargate Atlantis, and stick to a prequel to BSG
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Haven't even checked the channel in a while, and won't watch it till there is some decent REAL sci-fi shows...
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What the hell, Syfy?!?!?!? Reality shows? Who wants to watch reality shows?!? Jesus christ. They really need to rethink their line up
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im jus saying scifi and syfy are the same thing with different spelling so thats no excuse to give the station a pass on all this new reality crap shows....but it does bother me that the station calls it self syfy with barely any science fiction shows...i think they need to change its name if all they gone show is reality shows...this wont get to me too much b/c i wont watch any rality show unless its american idol so i can see jennnifer lopez :)but the only show i watch on syfy is being human and once that show gone i will be gone too..but i hope syfy change its name again b/c they are miss using the name and i hope people stop watching this reality crap shows b/c it makes it hard for real shows to keep going....oh yea i rewrote again so i can be clear and sorry bout my spelling on the other post:)
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ive done read some comments on here and i see some people are keep saying scifi done changed its name what u expect..now i hate to sound mean but did i miss something aint scifi and syfy the same thing with different spelling..so i dont see how in the world some of u guys are using that has an excuse for syfy new shows..scifi and syfy are the same thing with jus different spelling..now if the station had a whole different name than it would be different story but its still the same name with different spelling...the only show i watch on syfy is being human anyway so i dont care bout this reality shows but what does worry me is that its still an sciece fiction station with barely any science fiction shows..if they gone do that they need 2 change its name from syfy to something else but once being humman gone .so it wont bother me b/c i want be watching any reality shows only sometimes american idol to see jennifer lopez:)
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Soccer23123 that interesting you should say that because NBC own Syfy I hate that name by the way. Anyway there is a series that I always heard about but never watched until recently the show Fact or Faked Paranormal Files it not as bad as some of the others shows on Syfy. The new reality shows listed does not grab my interest I will stick with the older shows they are better I think anyway.
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SyFy is becoming more like NBC.They're getting rid of shows without giving them an ACTUAL CHANCE. /:
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I orginally began viewing the syfy channel, for its various sci fi programing. It had multiple entertaining scf fi shows, which kept my interest. now some bozo reality buff has infritrated sy fy channel programming, with numerous reality shows, which should never be in the sy fy channel programming,
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no more freakin reality shows! There are too many already. And for god's sake, no more freakin ghost shows.
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Well, as stated, Sy-Fy is no longer Sci-Fi. I hate all these crap reality shows that are on nowadays. I may have watched a few episodes of Survivor in the first season it ever aired and a scattered episode of some other reality shows but generally the entire genre is just crap and sy-fy is just shoveling more on the heap. To my mind most of these reality shows feature either people desparate for their 20 minutes of fame, or washed up celebs who can't find any other work. I do enjoy Sanctuary, Eureka and Warehouse 13 but their seasons are so short that you have this ridiculously long wait between seasons. Generally, thats a good way to lose viewership. Sy-Fy needs to change their name again. I think maybe Slo-Mo might be more appropriate...
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also forgot cn aired episodes of a bunch of shows mar prince of tennis ect out of order and then moved them to online viewing only then cancelled them. i don't think they even finished dubbing mar and if they did hulu might have them in like 3 years :P since hulu is picking up lots of cancelled shows
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and for example cn cancelled naruto and dbz in favor of crappy reality shows that all failed while dbz and naruto had nearly triple the ratings of each of those shows on average for a rerun ep.
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and shows get cancelled for multiple reasons all the time while yes the most common thought is that they didn't have high enough ratings thats not always the case. syfy for example is also doing a brand change so they cancel anything that doesn't fit with their new slogan. cartoonless network did the same and cancelled 90% of all their cartoons in favor of live action programming and some they even messed up on purpose and cancelled by changing the schedule multiple times and moving them to idiotic time slots like 4 am
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HOLY CRAP! And I thought CARTOON NETWORK sucked now...this tops it.
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@Gislef pretty sure sgu got cancelled like caprica because it sucks and the ratings represented that. however shows like warehouse 13 eureka and ect get decent ratings are cheap to make and are funded by alot of product placement so i don't see your point. sgu tried to be a space soap opera and failed due to lacking a story and completly unmemorable cast horrible acting and wasted time with filler moments like keno recordings and dream/timetravel/illusion eps.
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i hope the show gets better cuz honestly the cut aways during commercials are far more interesting than the show itself.
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