SciFi Channel becomes SyFy July 7th

Okay, so the actual news item here is that they’ve hooked up with Will Smith for Unfinished Business, a crime procedural about “an ex-cop who starts seeing flashes of memories from the recently deceased.” I wouldn’t expect to see Smith on screen, though – he’s executive producing.

Counting down for Battlestar Galactica

As the two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica approaches this Friday, SciFi Channel brings us “The Last Frakkin’ Special” tonight (10 PM ET/PT and rebroadcast a lot this week). puts it on the Do It Today notice. Want to find Cylons in your midst? Get the Cylon Detector iPhone / iPod Touch app. It’ll work better than Baltar’s blood screening. and Remember, the final episode of BSG: “Daybreak, Part 2” this Friday night, 9 PM ET/PT.

The Sci Fi Channel is changing their name

Oh yeah, the fans will just *love* this one!…To SyFy. No, seriously! It’s in The New York Times and everything!

One big advantage of the name change, the executives say, is that Sci Fi is vague — so generic, in fact, that it could not be trademarked. Syfy, with its unusual spelling, can be, which is also why diapers are called Luvs, an online video Web site is called Joost and a toothpaste is called Gleem.

“We couldn’t own Sci Fi; it’s a genre,” said Bonnie Hammer, the former president of Sci Fi who became the president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. “But we can own Syfy.”

Another benefit of the new name is that it is not “throwing the baby away with the bath water,” she added, because it is similar enough to the Sci Fi brand to convey continuity to “the fan-boys and -girls who love the genre.”

Oh honey: No. Just no. This is not the rebooting of Battlestar Galactica: This is taking what’s already perceived as a dumbed-down term for the genre (if only among the kind of people who tend to think that Star Wars Destroyed Science Fiction With Fun) and making it even more stupid. Which, I suppose, is more or less what we’ve come to expect from the people who have found crap like Seabeast and Mansquito viable programming choices.

Sci Fi might bring back Tin Man

My feelings exactly, Zooey.Neal McDonough, one of the stars of the Sci Fi’s Tin Man, revealed that there are talks to bring the mini back as a series. The 2007 ‘miniseries event’ got Sci Fi mondo ratings – it’s still their most-watched show ever – but praise for it has been few and and far between. (On the other hand, it does seem to have a minor following on Livejournal.)

Now, I had Tin Man sitting on my DVR for months, and I finally watched it back in August. The series presented itself as a Wizard of Oz reboot, but the underlying premise was a bit more than that. Alas, you don’t really find that out – the thing that throws everything in perspective, which is that this is Oz generations after Dorothy – until the third hour. Which is, quite frankly, long after someone with a less developed trainwreck syndrome than Genevieve Valentine or I probably should have stopped watching. Maybe the ratings just prove that our collective trainwreck syndrome is stronger than I thought. (Just like American Idol!)

Could the mini’s few interesting concepts (there are a few others, though they pale to crap like ‘The O.Z.’ and cleavage monkeys) make a successful series? I don’t really know. But I can’t help but hope we don’t find out.

Finding Sanctuary on SciFi

The best part about shows with names like this is that you can make horribly annoying subject lines for quite a while with them.

At any rate, the first trailer is up for Sanctuary. This was the first attempt to sell a series strictly online and using fan interaction to help shape the story. Sadly, they just couldn’t make the model work financially. But it was enough to get SciFi to notice and pick them up as a series. So it can’t all be bad.

Series star and producer Amanda Tapping (formerly of the Stargate franchise) catches everyone up on what’s been happening with the show. A nice interview for those who watched it and those who are thinking about it.

“Women don’t like science fiction,” again

A New York Times article on the Sci-Fi Channel – well, a passage about how the network attracted more women – sent io9’s Annalee Newitz on one mother of a rant:

If there’s something keeping women away from enjoying science fiction, it’s not spaceships. It’s not “aliens on some far-off planet.” It’s the fact that people on our very own planet keep telling us that women aren’t supposed to like science fiction. It’s a self-confirming prophesy, because the more that scifi creators are told this, the more they imagine that their audience is all boys. So they write rich, believable male characters and boring, cookie-cutter lady characters. They organize conventions with panels devoted to shit like “the hottest women of science fiction” and nothing devoted to female heroes — or the kinds of hotties that straight women might want to see (i.e., men).

Can I get an amen, ladies?

Sci-Fi squeezing yet more ratings out of BSG

Buddy TV reports that two half-hour Battlestar Galactica specials are coming in March:

The two specials are entitled “Battlestar Galactica: Revisited” and “Battlestar Galactica: The Phenomenon.” The first will give a helpful recap of the first three seasons of the series, as well as “Razor,” while the second special will take a look at the positive response that fans and critics have had to the show. “Revisited” and “The Phenomenon” will air back to back on Friday, March 28 at 10pm.

Sci-Fi Channel may revive Caprica

According to AICN, the latest issue of TV Guide is reporting that the Sci-Fi Channel, desperate for scripts due to the strike, may give the Battlestar Galactica prequel project a greenlight after all. Of course, knowing Sci-Fi, they might not air it until 2010 anyway.