Syfy launched almost 25 years ago on September 24, 1992 and now it has big plans for its silver anniversary. Originally the Sci-Fi Channel, it was rebranded as Syfy back in 2009 during a period where it seemed to be distancing itself further and further from science fiction and fantasy. Part of the reason for the change was practical, however, as “sci-fi” is a generic term that couldn’t be trademarked.
Over the past couple of years, the channel has returned to some great science-fiction and fantasy programming. With the looming 25th anniversary Syfy plans to double down on its commitment for more genre television along with major film acquisitions. Here’s what Chris McCumber, President of Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said in a statement:
“I can think of no better occasion than SYFY’s 25th anniversary to get back to our roots, double down on premium original programming, and put fans at the center of everything we do. As the only television network dedicated to the genre 24/7, we’re building the ultimate universe for this passionate community to call home.”
Along with the announcement of the anniversary, the channel revealed a brand new logo. It seems to harken back to the heyday of pulp science-fiction and one can imagine the logo showing up on the cover of something like Amazing Stories. The new branding will take effect June 19, 2017 with Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Digital, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, saying in a statement:
“This is a wholesale change, top to bottom, of the way we express ourselves. Our new branding is designed for the digital age and tailored to the consumption patterns of our audience, allowing us to celebrate and engage with fans on every consumer touchpoint.”
The channel is also expanding its editorial division Syfy Wire as well. Originally titled Blastr, the news site covered genre news before going through its own branding change. Syfy says its role will continue to provide news, original content, and analysis but will now also be brought into the fold across the entire ecosystem with on air integration.
Syfy has been getting praise from its core fanbase for shows like The Expanse, The Magicians, 12 Monkeys, and Channel Zero which have all been picked up for new seasons. Joining them will be the previously announced Superman prequel Krypton along with the just announced adaptations of the graphic novel Happy! and the novel adaptation Nightflyers by Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin.
Syfy has also been developing some incredibly ambitious projects such Brave New World, Hyperion, and Stranger in a Strange Land. Some of those novels have become iconic classics with Brave New World generally being compared (and contrasted to) George Orwell’s seminal work 1984. Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land was the first book to enter The New York Times Book Review’s best-seller list.
With science-fiction and fantasy now being some of the biggest genres on television and in film and having lost some of the stigma associated with it, the channel has a very good chance at capitalizing on this reboot and gaining a much larger audience in the process.