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Old April 24 2012, 09:28 PM   #757
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
I shouldn't get upset at SyFy, I know it is a lost cause. But why oh why can't they name it something else, and give us a new channel that actually has science fiction programming.
Because there aren't enough viewers interested in SF or other niche programming to enable a commercial-supported niche network to be profitable. Many formerly niche cable networks, like Arts & Entertainment or Court TV or The Nashville Network, have lost too many viewers to stay profitable and have had to embrace more generic, inexpensive programming (and often new names and identities) in order to survive. This is industry-wide, because television viewing is declining due to all the competition from the Internet, DVDs, etc. So the only way Syfy can afford to keep making any original SF/fantasy programming at all is to pay the bills by filling the bulk of their schedule with the wrestling and reality shows and cheap movies that bring in a wider audience. Ultimately it's the tastes of the audience (particularly the demographics that the advertisers favor) that determine networks' lineups, not the whims of the executives. And sadly, there's a much bigger audience for wrestling and reality shows than there is for original scripted science fiction, and Syfy has no choice but to shape its schedule accordingly if it wants to stay in business, just like so many other former niche networks before it.

If anything, it's admirable that Syfy still produces any genre programming at all, after so many other niche networks have given up their identities completely.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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