Hello, and welcome to another edition of TV.com 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.