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It's a Fan Thing

Syfy is a channel owned by NBC Universal (itself owned by media giant Comcast). Itís available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and a dozen or so other countries.

Founded in 1992 as the Sci-Fi Channel (in its later years, simply "Sci Fi"), the network's remit is to air various kinds of Speculative Fiction, from science/fantasy and paranormal to their own produced movies and shows. Their original series tend to be Cult Classics, and the network has a history of salvaging cancelled shows from other networks and renewing them. Unfortunately, they also have a history of canceling their own cult classic shows prematurely.

The channel changed its name to "Syfy" in 2009, officially in an attempt to offer more mainstream appeal to general audiences and women. Because "Syfy" is pronounced exactly the same as "Sci Fi," it's generally assumed that the channel simply wanted a moniker that is distinct from the genre's generic name so that it could be trademarked and more easily searched online.

Over the years, the channel has waxed and waned in its Network Decay by showing more or less actual science fiction. For a time, the channel become notorious for littering its schedules with fantasies, action movies, crime dramas, reality shows and Professional Wrestling from the WWE. However, they were also the original American broadcaster of Doctor Who and a number of anime titles (though they abridged the episodes for commercial television) and have never stopped airing a wide range of science fiction films, television series reruns and original shows.

In more modern times, the channel has profited from the resurgence of popularity in science fiction settings and has steadily increased its commitment to speculative fiction programming. More significantly, it was announced that Syfy would "reboot" for its 25th anniversary on June 19, 2017. This re-branding, which includes a new logo and the expansion of its news division, Syfy Wire, seemingly aims to return the channel to its roots.


This network contains examples of:

  • Anime: The channel aired Japanese animation beginning in The '90s, with notable shows and movies including El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, Appleseed, AKIRA (with the Streamline Pictures dub), Project A-ko, 8th Man After, and The New Adventures of Gigantor. Eventually, such programming was completely phased out in 2011 as the channel's Network Decay became more prevalent.
  • Armies Are Evil: All "Syfy Original Movies" set in anything even close to the modern era will feature the American military in an antagonistic role, no matter how much shoehorning is necessary to do so.
  • Bite the Wax Tadpole: The reason why the Polish channel kept the original nameónobody wants to watch a channel called "syphilis."
    • Specifically, "syf" approximately translates to "filth/dirt", and is used as slang for syphilis. The additional 'y' at the end is the correct construction to make the "syf" word plural. Reasonable translations from Polish to English for "syfy" would include "filthy things" and "syphilitics". The plural word, "syfy", is most commonly used as a slang for "pimples."
    • In the US, most of the former fans of the network pronounce the new name "Siffy", a slang/shortened term for a syphilitic.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: In the months prior to the network's launch in 1992, the C-Band satellite feed (and some cable providers who picked up the channel early) had all this sci-fi-ish stuff- apparently, some people thought they had hallucinated this stuff and other people thought it was a Satanic message!
  • Marathon Running: Back in its early days, and even today, the channel has aired movie marathons. Godzilla movies, Ray Harryhausen movies, and Fantasy-themed and Horror-themed movies are just a few examples.
  • Network Decay: Currently considered to be in "Slipped" status as a result of a new batch of sci-fi shows.
  • Threatening Shark: They've shown various shark movies ever since the channel's early days, but Sharknado becoming an unexpected smash hit resulted in a massive surge in both shark movie marathons and the commissioning of new shark movies.


Syfy-produced original films vary greatly in quality, from fan favourites like the Firestarter films and adaptations of lesser known comic books like Painkiller Jane to the more C grade disaster movies and Attack of the Killer Whatever movies. The channel funds many film developments - directors and producers go to Syfy for funding for Speculative Fiction works where they would have trouble gaining attention otherwise. The movies are made with a budget of only $1 or 2 million, making their development surprisingly profitable. Unsurprisingly, these movies are very divisive.

See Syfy Channel Original Movie for more.


List of Sci Fi Channel and Syfy series:


Alternative Title(s): Sci Fi Channel

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