This week marked the rebranding of Sci Fi Channel to the similar sounding, but different looking Syfy. A fresh (and pretty spiffy) on-air look and this awesome station ID: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hljFYzwUhyw
The question everyone asked when the rebranding was first announced, Why?
Well, according to Syfy President David Howe, it was to attract a wider audience and so they could trademark the name. While many agree the change isn’t really necessary, some even thinking it’s stupid, really, it makes sense.
The trademarking, of course, presents another way for NBCU to make some money. And it allows the network to really develop a “brand” separate from the genre science-fiction.
And speaking of, “Syfy” is supposed to represent not just science-fiction, but anything you could ever imagine. “Imagine Greater” is the new network’s tagline and they hope to be able to attract audiences outside of the stereotypical geeks and nerds.
I think it is very valid for them to do that because that stereotypical thinking is very much present among audiences today. Battlestar Galactica is a perfect example.
The title alone scares people away no matter how much critics and fans alike hail the show one of the best hours of drama on television. Even the Emmys shy away from it.
While Sci Fi has and Syfy will have shows like Ghost Hunters and the upcoming Stargate Universe, not to mention the original films that fill up the Scariest Night on Television (Will Syfy be still be using that?) that may attract nuanced audiences, the success of their rebirth will depend on what they are able to bring to screen in the coming months.
Audiences don’t necessarily hate what Syfy has and will offer, but there is definitely a hesitation. So they will have to reach out to those people who may not usually seek out this kind of programming.
They are definitely trying though. 2007’s Tin Man miniseries and the upcoming Alice, reimaginings of the classic stories, have that appeal that can bring new eyes to Syfy and possible get new people to check out the rest of the line-up.
Syfy will need those new eyes, but also make sure not to alienate the loyal viewers that have been with them for years.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what Syfy does.