Founded in 1992 under the name "Sci Fi Channel", the network's initial remit was to air various kinds of Speculative Fiction, from science/fantasy and paranormal to their own produced movies and shows.
Syfy's original series tend to be Cult Classics, and the network has a history of salvaging Too Good to Last shows from other networks and renewing them. Unfortunately, they also have a history of canceling their own cult classic shows prematurely.
They were the American broadcaster of Doctor Who and had gotten a lot of flack for cutting out 4 or 5 minutes from every episode to jam more commercials in. BBC America, which became current home of the series in May 2009 (after being a repeat broadcaster of the SyFy episodes), does not, or does so to a lesser extent. They now get the same flack from anime fans for doing this to the anime series they air. This was particularly bad with Mobile Suit Gundam 00, as every single episode's post-credits scene was cut, despite several of them being essential for the story to make any sense at all.
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 label funds many film developments - directors and producers go to Syfy for funding for Speculative Fiction works where they would have trouble gaining network attention. Syfy movies are made with a budget of only 1 or 2 million dollars making their development surprisingly profitable. Unsurprisingly, these movies are very divisive.
See SyFy Channel Original Movie for more.
The channel was renamed SyFy in 2009 in the US, the UK and France (see Bite the Wax Tadpole below). As said executive Tim Brooks: “The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular." Sci Fi Channel president David Howe added, "It gives us a unique word and it gives us the opportunities to imbue it with the values and the perception that we want it to have." Unsurprisingly, the renaming was almost universally ridiculed, especially since "Syfy" is pronounced exactly the same as "Sci Fi", the term the executives think has such negative connotations. Some mockingly suggested that they should've renamed it "Skiffy"...which was what critics already called the channel. Fans continue to state that the real reason they changed it was so they could simply keep the trademark; a descriptive word like "sci-fi" generally can't be trademarked. They've also taken to calling it "Syphilis" (see Bite the Wax Tadpole below).
Along with the new name, the Network Decay which has been slowly developing for a decade is becoming more prevalent in The New Tens, with more and more Syfy programs being phased out for more reality shows.
- Battlestar Galactica (reimagining)
- Being Human (USA)
- Bionic Woman (reimagining)
- Black Scorpion
- The Chronicle
- Destination Truth
- "Dream Machines" Syfy's answer to American Chopper
- The Dresden Files
- ECW (WWE version)
- Estate of Panic
- Face Off (reality series not related to the film)
- Fact Or Faked Paranormal Files
- First Wave
- Flash Gordon (2007 series)
- FTL Newsfeed
- Ghost Hunters / Ghost Hunters International
- Good Vs Evil
- Hollywood Treasure
- The Invisible Man
- Legend Quest
- Lost Girl
- The Lost Room
- Mad Mad House
- Marcels Quantum Kitchen
- The Mercury Men (web serial)
- Mission Genesis
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- The Outer Limits (remake)
- Outer Space Astronauts
- Painkiller Jane
- Proof Positive
- Scream Of The Banshee
- Scare Tactics
- The Sci Fi Series Collection: Umbrella title for a slot in which very short-lived series like Otherworld, Logan's Run, The Immortal, Probe, and Future Cop were run, with commentary by the creators/stars of said series.
- The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne
- Stargate SG-1
- Stargate Atlantis
- Stargate Universe
- Tin Man
- Total Blackout
- Treasure Island
- Tripping the Rift
- Welcome To Paradox
- Warehouse 13
- WCG Ultimate Gamer
- Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
- WWE Smackdown
- 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 will not be renamed -- 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."
- Network Decay: Considered to be in "Total Abandonment" status.
- They used to air animes on Monday nights, coining the pun Ani-Mondays. Then it was shifted to Tuesdays, then Thursdays, without changing the name. Eventually the block went on a "hiatus" in Summer 2011, which was later confirmed to be an outright cancellation.
- Sci Fi Ghetto: Partly the reason for the Network Decay.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz
- Which is trademarkable and does improve Google searches