|Launched||September 24, 1992|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Headquarters||New York, NY, United States|
|Formerly called||Sci-Fi Channel (1992–2000)
|Dish Network||122 (HD/SD)
|C-Band – H2H/4DTV||AMC 18 – Channel 211|
|SKY Centroamérica and México||209|
|DirecTV (Latin America)||221|
|Austar and Foxtel (Australia)||125 and 165|
|Available on many cable systems||Check local listings|
|AT&T U-verse||1151 (HD)
|Verizon FiOS||680 (HD)
Syfy (formerly Sci-Fi Channel) is an American cable television channel, featuring science fiction, drama, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The name Syfy was officially adopted on July 7, 2009.
The Sci-Fi Channel was devised in early 1989 by Mitchell Rubenstein and Laurie Silvers, two entrepreneurs from Boca Raton, Florida, who currently own HomeTown Cable in South Florida. In March 1992, the concept was picked up by USA Networks, then a joint venture between Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios. The channel was seen as a natural fit with classic film and television series that both studios had in their vaults, including Universal's Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Rod Serling TV series Night Gallery, and Paramount's Star Trek. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and author Isaac Asimov were among those on the advisory board; the channel was subsequently dedicated to their memories. The first program shown on the network was Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
In 1994, Paramount was sold to Viacom, followed by Seagram's purchase of a controlling stake in MCA (of which Universal was a subsidiary) from Matsushita the next year. In 1997, Viacom sold its stake in USA Networks to Universal, who spun off all its television assets to Barry Diller the next year. Three years later, Diller would sell these assets back to Universal, by then a subsidiary of Vivendi SA (at the time known as Vivendi Universal). Vivendi's film, television, and cable TV assets were then merged with General Electric's NBC to form NBC Universal in 2004. A high definition version of the channel launched on October 3, 2007 on DirecTV.
Branding history 
For most of its history, the network's logos mostly consisted of a planet with a ring, in accordance with the networks name. The first logo depicted a Saturn-like planet with the words "SCI-FI CHANNEL" embedded on the planet. The original visual identity borrowed heavily from the classics in the genre and various sci-fi clichés. The second logo, introduced in March 1999, returned the Saturn-like planet but dropped the hyphen and "Channel" from the name. The third and most-known branding, designed by Lambie-Nairn, debuted on December 2, 2002, with the launch of the Steven Spielberg miniseries Taken. The network also launched a new image campaign with the tag line "If," which expresses the limitless possibilities of the imagination. Identification bumps depict surreal situations (e.g. a baby breathing fire; a woman in a stately sitting room kissing a bug-eyed, big eared animal; a break dancer spinning fast ending up with his head facing backwards)
On March 16, 2009, Sci-Fi announced it was changing its name to "Syfy," to end confusion over how to capitalize and stylize their name and as part of an on-going rebranding effort. Network officials also noted that, unlike the generic term "sci fi", which represents the entire science fiction genre, the term "Syfy" can be protected by trademark and therefore would be easier to market on other goods or services without fear of confusion with other companies' products. The only significant previous use of the term "Syfy" in relation to science fiction was by the website SyFy Portal, which became Airlock Alpha after selling the brand to NBC Universal (represented by a shell company) in February for $250,000.
Reaction to the new name was largely negative at first, with people often pronouncing Syfy as "Siffy", "Skiffy", or "Si Fi" to make fun of the name change. The parody news anchor Stephen Colbert made fun of the name change by giving the channel a "Tip of the Hat" for "spelling the name the way it's pronounced" and noting that "the tide is turning in my long fought battle against the insidious 'soft C'". The new name took effect on July 7, 2009. Syfy is in the process of making more reality shows and edging farther away from science fiction programming, and has been making a conscious effort to do this since the 1990s, also to significant negative response.
The rebranding efforts at NBC Universal's Sci Fi Channels worldwide resulted in most rebranding as Syfy or Syfy Universal, however, over one-third of the channels did not take on "Syfy" as any part of their names: Australia rebranded the Sci Fi Channel as SF Channel, channels in Japan and the Philippines rebranded to or were replaced by Universal Channel, while each of the channels in Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia would become Sci Fi Universal. Syfy, in several languages, does not suggest imagination or science fiction so much as the syphilitic.
Syfy's programming includes original television movies, miniseries, and series. In the past, the channel concentrated on classic science fiction (SciFi) shows. However NBC has altered its schedule in the past few years to expand the lineup, and the channel now airs shows including WWE's SmackDown, changing from the original niche programming to offerings towards more general-entertainment.
The network had gained significant international attention for its very successful original miniseries and subsequent four-season series Battlestar Galactica. In addition to many awards, The United Nations invited the main cast to a retrospective and discussion.
Coupled with Battlestar Galactica, Syfy gained national prominence in 2003 with the airing of Steven Spielberg Presents: Taken, which won the Emmy Award that year for best miniseries. In 2006, it also began including several non-science-fiction programs in its line-up, such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, ECW (changed to WWE NXT in 2010) and WCG Ultimate Gamer.
Syfy has aired anime programming off and on throughout its history. It first began airing English dubbed anime films and original video animations in the early 1990s, although the programs were often edited in order to fit the market pressures typically placed on basic cable. It was the first to show the Streamline Pictures English dubs of the films Robot Carnival, Lensman, and Akira, as well as airing Central Park Media's Dominion: Tank Police, Gall Force, and Project A-ko. Eventually the channel stopped airing anime, until June 11, 2007, when it began airing a weekly 2-hour programming block called "Ani-Monday". Intended to directly compete with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, the block features English dubs of various anime series licensed by Manga Entertainment. During February 2008, the channel also aired anime on Tuesday nights in a second programming block. In July 2009, Syfy announced that they had renewed and expanded their licensing agreement with Manga Entertainment to continue the "Ani-Monday" block, as well as to add a similar two-hour block of horror anime, also called "Ani-Monday", to their sister channel Chiller.
On April 13, 2010, World Wrestling Entertainment announced it had signed a multi-year agreement that would move WWE SmackDown from MyNetworkTV to Syfy, starting on October 1, 2010. The WWE said the show would assist Syfy with targeting of young male and female audiences.
Syfy original films 
Spearheaded and originally launched by Thomas Vitale in 2001, and managed by Vitale, Chris Regina, Ray Cannella, with the later additions of Karen O'Hara and Macy Lao, Sci Fi Pictures original films are typically independently-made B-movies with production budgets of $1M to $2M each. They usually premiere on Saturday nights. They are also one of the sponsors for the Coalition for Freedom of Information. The movies have become one of the longest-lasting parts of Syfy's schedule. One of the most memorable campaigns for the movies presented these films as part of "The Most Dangerous Night of Television" (Saturdays). Over the years, Syfy's promotion of the movies leans into the escapist fun promised by them, with titles such as Sharktopus, Mansquito, Two-Headed Shark Attack, Ogre, Ice Twisters and Star Runners. Since 2001, Syfy has worked with a number of different production companies (most of them indie) to make over 200 original movies of this type.
Announced series/pilots 
- America's Smartest Kids: Reality-television competition challenging children to "invent a better future".
- Change the Day You Die: Reality-television series following a group of individuals as they are shown how their bad habits will cause their deaths in the future, and the journey they must go through to change those bad habits.
- Defiance: Science-fiction series set in the near future on Earth following an alien invasion.
- Dinner With Deepak: Reality-television series following Deepak Chopra as he dines each week with three high-profile dinner guests.
- Hi Tech Hoaxes: Reality-television series about a group of hoaxers and pranksters who each week perform hoaxes on unsuspecting people, based on requests from viewers.
- In the Dark: The adventures of an amateur ghost-hunting team that continually finds its efforts frustrated by their own incompetence.
- Me and Lee: A down-on-his-luck 20-year-old goes into the hospital for back surgery, meets Lee Majors, and is convinced to become a bionic man.
- Monster Man: Reality-television series following Cleve Hall and his family business of making monster and alien props for Hollywood.
- Overthunk: Reality-television competition in which two teams design, build and set off "massive chain-reaction machines".
- Stunts Unlimited: Reality-television series going behind the scenes of creating big stunts for Hollywood.
- Three Inches: After being struck by lightning, Walter Spackman discovers he has developed a super power: the ability to move an object with his mind, but only over a distance of three inches.
- Tyler Shields: Reality-television series about unconventional photographer Tyler Shields.
- Rewind: A science-fiction series revolving around a team who must travel back in time to prevent a devastating terrorist attack. Executive produced by Justin Marks, Tom Spezialy, Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein.
- Defender: Executive produced by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, a science-fiction series set around the Starship Defender.
- The Adjustment Bureau (television series): written by Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer. Executive produced by George Nolfi, Slavkin and Swimmer.
- High Moon: Based on the novel The Lotus Caves by John Christopher, the series revolves around a world where the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the Moon's resources. When a new life form is discovered, chaos erupts as various factions race to uncover its powerful secrets. Executive produced by Brian Fuller and co-executive produced by Jim Danger Gray.
- An untitled series that revolves around the DC Comics superhero Booster Gold. Executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and DC Entertainment.
- Grave Sight: Based on the novel Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris.
- Seeing Things: Based on the comic "Grey Legion" by Platinum Studios, the series revolves around a cop who after meeting his violent demise, returns as a ghost to close his last case. But the only person who can help him is a socially awkward man who is realizing for the first time that his hallucinations may not be all in his head. Written by David Slack and Gabrielle Stanton. Executive produced by Slack, Robert Cort and Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. A production of Fox Television Studios.
- The Family: A science-fiction series revolving around an alien family living amongst humans. Written by Dan Harris. Executive produced by Neal Moritz and Mark Verheiden.
- Eyes of the Dragon: Based on the novel "The Eyes of the Dragon" by Stephen King. Written by Michael Taylor and Jeff Vintar. Executive produced by Michael Taylor and Bill Haber.
- Darkfall: A fantasy series revolving around a version of Earth where Magic takes the place of modern technology. Written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris. A production of The Jim Henson Company and Universal Cable Productions.
- One Mile Straight Down: Revolves around billionaire adventurer James Exeter who works with the government to take an advanced nuclear submarine to explore a vast ocean under a large chasm that was revealed after a powerful earthquake hits California. Written by Skip Woods, Naren Shankar and Deran Sarafian. Executive produced by Skip Woods, Naren Shankar and Deran Sarafian.
Announced, unrealized projects 
- The Chronicles of Amber: Four-hour miniseries based on Roger Zelazny's 10-volume series, scripted by Richard Christian Matheson, with Tom Patricia of Patriarch Pictures as executive producer.
- Colosseum: TV-movie in which modern-day fight promoter Tommy Pettigrew finds himself transported in time to the Colosseum of Rome in the year AD 95, with a script by Sam Egan. Directed by Mario Azzopardi and executive produced by Egan, Azzopardi, and Matt Loze.
- The Forever War: Four-hour miniseries, scripted by John Fasano and based on Joe Haldeman's novel of that name. Executive producers were by Richard Edlund, plus Peter Sussman and Ed Gernon for Alliance Atlantis.
- Myst: Four-hour miniseries based on the video game Myst. A Mandalay Television Pictures production, executive produced by Elizabeth Stephen with Rand Miller and Susan Bonds of Cyan, in association with Columbia Tri Star Domestic Television.distributed through USA Cable Entertainment.
- On the Seventh Day: Seven-hour minseries set in 2850 in an overcrowded world in which the government has assigned people one day a week to live, while spending the remaining six days in cryogenic suspension, from writer and executive producer Gary Sherman and USA Cable Entertainment.
- 1000 Days: A live-action TV movie and backdoor pilot based on the Marvel Comics series Strikeforce: Morituri, about near-future soldiers who gain enhanced abilities but die 1,000 days later. Written by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, it was a Reveille Productions and Marvel Studios co-production executive produced by Reveille head Ben Silverman and Marvel Studios' Avi Arad and Rick Ungar.
- Alien Blood: TV-movie of a human rebellion when an invading alien army demands that one million people be sacrificed. Produced by UFO Films.
- Brother Voodoo: A live-action TV-movie and backdoor pilot based on the Marvel Comics supernatural character Brother Voodoo. Hans Rodionoff was announced to write the screenplay, set in New Orleans, of this Reveille Productions and Marvel Studios co-production executive produced by Reveille head Ben Silverman and Marvel Studios' Avi Arad and Rick Ungar.
- Dead Rail: A TV-movie set aboard a bullet train on headed to Las Vegas on its inaugural run, and a detective who must battle hostile aliens. Written by Brian Smith, "founder of SciFi.com's Seeing Ear Theatre", and produced by Glow Worm.
- The Twelve: A miniseries, based on a concept by David Pirie, about an FBI agent who finds evidence that the world will end on the twelfth day of Christmas. With Martin Scorsese and producer Barbara De Fina as executive producers, with Cappa/De Fina Productions in conjunction with Adrian Bate and Zenith Entertainment Ltd., it was scheduled to debut in December 2005.
- Kyra: David Twohy, writer-director of The Chronicles of Riddick, said in June 2004 he was writing the story basis for a Sci-Fi Channel TV-movie pilot based on the Riddick character Kyra.
The channel's website launched in 1995 under the name "The Dominion" at SciFi.com. In 2000, it dropped the name "The Dominion". It was one of the first large-scale, publicly available, well-advertised, and non-portal based Web sites. In addition to information on the channel's programming, it covers science fiction in general. The site has won a Webby Award and a Flash Forward Award. From 2000–2005, it published original science fiction short stories in a section called "Sci Fiction", edited by Ellen Datlow, who won a 2005 Hugo Award for her work there. The stories themselves won a World Fantasy Award; the first Theodore Sturgeon Award for online fiction (for Lucius Shepard's novella "Over Yonder"), and four of the Science Fiction Writers of America's Nebula Awards, including the first for original online fiction (for Linda Nagata's novella "Goddesses").
On April 22, 2006, the site launched Sci Fi Pedia as a commercial wiki on topics including anime, comics, science fiction, fantasy, horror, fandom, games and toys, UFOs, genre-related art and audio, and the paranormal. In 2009, Sci Fi Pedia was shut down without explanation.
As part of the channel's rebranding in 2009, the URL was changed to Syfy.com.
As of 2010, SyFy.com began to contain webisode series including Riese: Kingdom Falling (as of October 26, 2010), The Mercury Men (as of July 25, 2011, and Nuclear Family (as of October 15, 2012).
Science Fiction Weekly 
Science Fiction Weekly was an online magazine started and edited by Craig Engler and Brooks Peck on August 15, 1995. In April 1996 it began appearing exclusively on "The Dominion" as part of a partnership with the site, before being sold to the Sci Fi Channel completely in 1999. The publication covered various aspects of science fiction, including news, reviews, original art, and interviews, until it merged with Sci Fi Wire in January 2009. It was last edited by Scott Edelman.
Sci Fi Magazine 
Blastr (formerly Sci Fi Wire), an adjunct of the Syfy website, is the daily news wire edited by Scott Edelman. It covers news related to science fiction, fantasy and supernatural-themed entertainment, including films, television, games, books, fandom and rumors. Blastr is frequently cited as a source of breaking news by other Web sites and by publications as varied as the New York Post and TV Guide.
In 2008, Syfy, then the Sci Fi Channel, averaged a 1.0 Household rating; 242,000 Adults 18–34 (up 4% vs 2007); 616,000 Adults 18–49 (up 5% vs 2007); 695,000 Adults 25–54 (up 6% vs 2007) and 1,278,000 total viewers (up 7% vs 2007). It saw two years of consecutive growth among female audiences, with a 12% increase among women 25–54, a 14% jump in women 18–49 and 6% in women 18–34. The channel also was ranked among the top ten watched channels for male viewers ages 18–54, and women ages 25–54 (#10).
For 2010, Syfy averaged 1.199 million viewers, down 6% from 2009. In Adults 18–49 the channel averaged .539 million viewers, down 11% from 2009. For 2010 Syfy did not hold any of the Top 20 Primetime Original Series.
See also 
- Lieberman, David. "Comcast Completes Acquisition Of GE’s 49% Stake In NBCUniversal." Deadline.com (March 19, 2013)
- The Thunder Child: The Sci-Fi Channel, a History of the First Two Years
- Carter, Bill (September 28, 1992). "Will There Be Any Space For Outer Space on Cable?". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Carter, Bill (March 31, 1992). "Television Notes; NBC Tries Again With a News-Magazine Format". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Himna, Catherine. "Sci-fi Channel Picks Disney As Home Port". Orlando Sentinel.
- "The Seagram Company Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. today announced that Seagram has agreed to purchase an 80 percent interest in MCA for $5.704 billion in cash.". Business Wire. The Free Library. April 9, 1995. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Swann, Phillip (October 3, 2007). "DirecTV Adds Six HD Channels". TVPredictions.com. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "JREF's Pigasus Awards “Honors” Dubious Peddlers of “Woo”". James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved April 01, 2013.
- Bianculli, David (March 19, 1999). "Freaky Fridays On Revised Sci-fi Cabler Gets Busy As Networks Nap". New York Daily News. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "SCI FI Channel Re-Positions Itself as "The Channel of Imagination".". Free Online Library. Dec. 17, 2002. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Mirkin, Steve (August 31, 2003). "The Minds Behind SCI FI Channel’s New Look". Animation World Network. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Hinman, Michael (March 15, 2009). "SciFi Channel Changes Name ... To Syfy". Airlock Alpha. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Wheaton, Ken (March 17,). "Should We Start a Syfy Death Watch?". Advertising Age. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Schneider, Michael (March 20, 2009). "TV rebranding a tricky proposition". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "Tip/Wag - Mississippi, Talk Shows, SyFy". March 18, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- Elliot, Stuart (March 15, 2009). "Sci Fi Channel Has a New Name: Now, It's Syfy". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Syfy is Turning Into VH1: More Reality TV and Tracy Morgan, io9.com, March 18, 2010
- Syfy Announces New Programming for 2010-2011, The Flick Cast, March 19, 2010
- Syfy Channel 2010: More Reality, More Games, Inside TV, March 23, 2010
- SCI FI president Dave Howe answers your Syfy questions, Sci Fi Wire, March 20, 2009
- Pennington, Gail (July 9, 2010). "'Haven' widens reach of Syfy programming". Tube Talk (with Gail Pennington). stltoday.com (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Retrieved January 1, 2011.
- "List of awards and nominations received by Battlestar Galactica". Wikipedia. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- "UN and Battlestar Galactica host discussion of human rights and armed conflict". The United Nations. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- "Outstanding Miniseries 2003". Emmys.com. Emmy Award. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Stropoli, Rebecca (May 25, 2006). "Sci Fi Gets Itself in a Headlock". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Griffin McElroy. "WCG Ultimate Gamer reality show hits SciFi Channel March 10". Joystiq.
- "Sci Fi Channel Launches Monday Night Anime Block". Anime News Network. May 5, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "America's Sci Fi Channel Adds Anime on Tuesdays". Anime News Network. January 3, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Beveridge, Chris (July 15, 2009). "Syfy, Chiller Take On More Anime". ManiaEntertainment. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- "SmackDown" Goes Syfy, World Wrestling Entertainment, April 13, 2010
- Wolf, Gary (October 2004). "We've Created a Monster!". Wired 12 (10). Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "SCI FI Channel Challenges Government Secrecy". Coalition for Freedom of Information (Press release). October 22, 2002. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 22, 2011). "Syfy Presents Programming Slate At Upfront". Deadline. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Woerner, Meredith (April 25, 2012). "How Syfy Will Bring Science Fiction Back to Television". i09. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- "SCI FI Slate Announced". Sci Fi Wire, (Syfy. April 3, 2002. Archived from the original on June 6, 2002. Text "Sci Fi Channel) " ignored (help)
- "SCI FI Adapts Marvel Series". Sci Fi Wire (Sci Fi Channel). January 3, 2003. Archived from the original on February 8, 2002.
- "SCI FI Unveils Film Slate". Sci Fi Wire (Sci Fi Channel). July 9, 2003. Archived from the original on August 4, 2003.
- "Scorsese Comes to SCI FI". Sci Fi Wire (Sci Fi Channel). July 11, 2003. Archived from the original on August 4, 2003.
- "Twohy Readies Kyra Pilot". Sci Fi Wire (SciFi.com). June 7, 2004. Archived from the original on June 7, 2004.
- "SciFiction". Official site (Syfy. Archived from the original on August 31, 2005. Text "Sci Fi Channel) " ignored (help) Also: Archive of SciFiction stories, May 15, 2000 - December 28, 2005
- "Sci Fi Has Its Finger On The 'Pulse'" (Press release). The Futon Critic, Sci Fi Channel. April 26, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Danzis, Alan. "SyFy's Upcoming 'Nuclear Family' To Premiere First On Xbox LIVE". starpulse.com. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
- "Sci Fi's Craig Engler Promoted To SVP & GM, Sci Fi Digital". VFXWorld. March 13, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- SCI FI Wire Changes Its Name, Looks to the Future with Blastr, Access Hollywood, July 14, 2010
- "Sci Fi Has Best year Ever! #5 in Adults 25 - 54" (Press release). The Futon Critic, Sci Fi Channel. December 17, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Year-End Cable Ratings: USA Still On Top, History Breaks Into Top 10 With Big Gains. Deadline Hollywood. December 23, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2011
- Official website
- Syfy on Facebook
- Syfy on Google+
- Syfy on Twitter
- Syfy's channel on YouTube
- Syfy at the Internet Movie Database
- Sci Fi charts its course for the future, Los Angeles Times – Interview with Dave Howe