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Syfy is a channel owned by NBCUniversal (itself owned by media giant Comcast). Outside of the United States, local versions exist in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and a dozen or so other countries (sometimes under the name Syfy Universal). 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 shows prematurely. Syfy's original films have also garnered a reputation of their own. Over the years, the channel's film output has run the gauntlet from adaptations of comic books (like Painkiller Jane) to B-grade disaster movies and Attack of the Killer Whatever films.


The channel adapted its current name in 2009 as part of a larger shift in programming to offer more mainstream appeal to general audiences and women. "Syfy" is pronounced exactly the same as "Sci Fi,"; a moniker that is distinct from the genre's generic name so that it could be trademarked and more easily searched online. The name change was applied to some of the international versions of the channel, but others kept variations of the original name due to translation troubles with the new name, particularly in central and southern Europe.

Syfy has waxed and waned in Network Decay by showing either less actual science fiction or more of it. On one hand, the channel was notorious for littering its schedules with non-genre action movies, crime dramas, and reality shows, as well for airing Professional Wrestling from the WWE. On the other hand, they were also the original American broadcaster of Doctor Who and a number of anime titles. While the channel no longer airs the latter programming, it has recently expanded into western-produced, adult animation with the launch of its "TZGZ" block in 2019.


In more modern times, the channel has profited from a resurgence in popularity for the sci-fi genre and has steadily increased its commitment to speculative fiction programming. Syfy celebrated its 25th anniversary on June 19, 2017 with a re-brand, including a new logo and the expansion of its Syfy Wire news division.

This network contains examples of:

  • Adored by the Network: Tends to play any Marvel Cinematic Universe film it has in its roster a lot. Alongside its sister networks, it also runs frequent Harry Potter marathons.
  • 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 name. Nobody 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 pronounced 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. The network's growing reputation for not supporting and cancelling their high-profile shows in the late 2010s/early 2020s has not helped in this regard, with 2016's Channel Zero being their most recent show to last more than two seasons; this has rendered the network a glorified movie channel — and much of its most frequent movie programming isn't even science fiction related, particularly Harry Potter. With the announcement of the impending cancellation of Wynonna Earp and Van Helsing, by the end of 2021 they will have zero live-action series that began before the preceding year.
  • Threatening Shark: They've shown various shark movies since 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.

List of Sci Fi Channel and Syfy series:

Bold indicates ongoing or upcoming series.

Alternative Title(s): Sci Fi Channel


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