Syfy (formerly Sci-Fi Channel and Sci-Fi) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The channel features science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural, paranormal, drama, and reality programming. Syfy is available to 92.4 million households in America.
|Launched||September 24, 1992|
|Slogan||It's a Fan Thing|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|C-Band – H2H/4DTV||AMC-18 – Channel 211|
|Xfinity||28 (SD) 829 (HD)|
|Apple TV||tvOS Application|
|Now TV||Internet Protocol television|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
In 1989, Boca Raton, Florida, communications attorney Mitchell Rubenstein and his wife Laurie Silvers devised the concept for the Sci-Fi Channel, and planned to have it begin broadcasting in December 1990, but lacked the resources to launch it. In March 1992, the concept was picked up by USA Networks, then a joint venture between Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios. The channel was seen as a natural fit with classic films and television series that both studios had in their vaults, including Universal's Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Rod Serling TV series Night Gallery, along with Paramount's Star Trek. Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry and author Isaac Asimov were among those on the initial advisory board, but both had died by the time the channel finally launched on September 24, 1992. Rubenstein recalled: "The first thing that was on the screen was 'Dedicated to the memories of Isaac Asimov and Gene Roddenberry'." Leonard Nimoy was master of ceremonies at the channel's launch party, held at the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan. Asimov's widow Janet and Roddenberry's widow Majel Barrett were both in attendance. The first program shown on the network was the film Star Wars.
In 1994, Paramount was sold to Viacom, followed by Seagram's purchase of a controlling stake in MCA (of which Universal was a subsidiary) from Matsushita (a.k.a. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (松下電器産業株式会社 Matsushita Denki Sangyō Kabushiki-gaisha) the next year. In 1997, Viacom sold its stake in USA Networks to Universal, who spun off all its television assets to Barry Diller the next year into the new company Studios USA. Three years later, Diller would sell Studios USA back to Universal, by then a subsidiary of Vivendi SA (at the time known as Vivendi Universal). Vivendi's film and television production and cable television assets were then merged with General Electric's NBC to form NBC Universal in 2004. In 2010, Comcast purchased Syfy's parent company NBCUniversal.
A high definition version of the channel launched on October 3, 2007 on DirecTV. In 2013, Syfy was given the James Randi Educational Foundation's Pigasus Award for what was described as questionable reality programming involving paranormal topics.
From 1992 to 1999, the network's first logo consisted of a planet with a ring, made to look like Saturn, with "SCI-FI CHANNEL" written on it. The network's second logo, which was used from 1999 to 2002, dropped the hyphen and the word "CHANNEL" from the name. The network's third and final "ringed planet" logo ran from 2002 to 2009, and was designed by Lambie-Nairn. The logo made its debut on December 2, 2002, with the launch of the Steven Spielberg miniseries Taken. The network also launched a new image campaign with the tagline "If", which expresses the limitless possibilities of the imagination. Identification bumps depicted surreal situations such as a baby breathing fire, as well as a woman in a stately sitting room kissing a bug-eyed, big-eared animal.
On March 16, 2009, NBCUniversal announced that Sci-Fi was rebranding as "Syfy". Network officials also noted that, unlike the generic term "sci fi", which represents the entire genre, the term "Syfy" as a sensational spelling can be protected by trademark and therefore would be easier to market on other goods or services without fear of confusion with other companies' products. The only significant previous use of the term "Syfy" in relation to science fiction was by the website SyFy Portal, which became Airlock Alpha after selling the brand to NBC Universal (represented by a shell company) in February 2009 for $250,000.
The name change was greeted with initial negativity, with people deliberately mispronouncing "Syfy" as /ˈsɪfi/ SIF-ee or /ˈsiːfi/ SEE-fee to make fun of the name change. The parody news anchor Stephen Colbert made fun of the name change on The Colbert Report by giving the channel a "Tip of the Hat" for "spelling the name the way it's pronounced" and noting that "the tide is turning in my long fought battle against the insidious 'soft C'". The new name took effect on July 7, 2009. Syfy has since added reality shows and edged further from strictly science fiction, fantasy and horror programming.
The rebranding efforts at NBC Universal's Sci Fi Channels worldwide resulted in most rebranding as "Syfy" or "Syfy Universal"; however, over one-third of the channels did not take on "Syfy" as any part of their names: channels in Japan and the Philippines rebranded to or were replaced by Universal Channel, while each of the channels in Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia would become Sci Fi Universal. In Polish, "Syfy" does not suggest imagination or science fiction, but rather syphilis. In Australia, the Sci Fi channel was a joint venture not solely owned by NBC Universal; the channel was uniquely rebranded as "SF" until its closure, and was replaced by a NBC Universal solely-owned version of Syfy, branded as such, matching the standard international "Syfy" branding.
On May 11, 2017, Syfy unveiled a new logo, a new slogan ("It's a Fan Thing"), and new imaging, which it adopted on June 19 in honor of the channel's 25th anniversary. The new branding aims to re-position the channel back towards targeting fans of the fantasy and sci-fi genres; network head Chris McCumber explained that the new logo was meant be a "badge" that could be used across its array of programming. “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,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “As the only television network dedicated to the genre 24/7, we’re building the ultimate universe for this passionate community to call home.”
Syfy's programming includes original made-for-cable movies, miniseries, and series. In the past, the channel concentrated on classic science fiction shows. However, under NBCUniversal ownership, the channel has altered its programming to target more mainstream audiences. In 2006, it began airing programs such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, ECW, and WCG Ultimate Gamer.
The network had gained significant international attention for its successful original miniseries and subsequent four-season series Battlestar Galactica. In addition to many awards, the United Nations invited the main cast to a retrospective and discussion. Also prominent was the network's airing of Taken, which won the Emmy Award that year for best miniseries.
Syfy was also known for airing Japanese anime. It first began airing English dubbed anime films and original video animations in the early 1990s, although the programs were often edited in order to fit the market pressures typically placed on basic cable. It was the first to show the Streamline Pictures English dubs of the films Robot Carnival, Lensman and Akira, as well as airing Central Park Media's Dominion: Tank Police, Gall Force, and Project A-ko. After a break in airings, anime programming returned on June 11, 2007, with a weekly two-hour programming block called "Ani-Monday". Intended to directly compete with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, the block featured English dubs of various anime series licensed by Manga Entertainment. During February 2008, the channel also aired anime on Tuesday nights in a second programming block.
In July 2009, Syfy announced that they had renewed and expanded their licensing agreement with Manga Entertainment to continue "Ani-Mondays", as well as to add a similar two-hour block of horror anime (also called "Ani-Monday") to its sister channel Chiller. Syfy's anime block was later moved to Thursday nights, starting March 14, 2011, where it remained until all anime programming was abruptly removed from the schedule on June 9, 2011
In addition to the aforementioned ECW, Syfy has aired other shows from WWE, including NXT in 2010, and SmackDown from 2010 until 2015, when the show moved to Syfy's sister channel USA Network in early 2016.
Spearheaded and originally launched by Thomas Vitale in 2001, and managed by Vitale, Chris Regina, and Ray Cannella, with the later additions of Karen O'Hara and Macy Lao, Sci Fi Pictures original films are typically independently-made B-movies with production budgets of $1 million to $2 million each. These films usually premiere on Saturday nights. They are also one of the sponsors for the Coalition for Freedom of Information. The movies have become one of the longest-lasting vestiges of Syfy's schedule. One of the most memorable campaigns for the movies presented these films as part of "The Most Dangerous Night of Television" (Saturdays). Over the years, Syfy's promotion of the movies leans into the escapist fun promised by them, with titles such as Sharktopus, Mansquito, Two-Headed Shark Attack, Ogre, Ice Twisters, Star Runners and Sharknado. Since 2001, Syfy has worked with a number of different production companies (most of them independent) to make over 200 original movies of this type.
Syfy's website launched in 1995, at SciFi.com, under the name "The Dominion"; it dropped the name in 2000. The site has won a Webby Award and a Flash Forward Award.
From 2000 to 2005, SciFi.com published original science fiction short stories in a section called "Sci Fiction", edited by Ellen Datlow, who won a 2005 Hugo Award for her work there. The stories themselves won a World Fantasy Award, the first Theodore Sturgeon Award for online fiction (for Lucius Shepard's novella "Over Yonder"), and four of the Science Fiction Writers of America's Nebula Awards, including the first for original online fiction (for Linda Nagata's novella "Goddesses").
On April 22, 2006, the site launched Sci Fi Pedia, a commercial wiki on topics including anime, comics, fandom, fantasy, games, horror, science fiction, and toys, UFOs, genre-related art and audio, and the paranormal. In 2009, Sci Fi Pedia was shut down without explanation.
As part of the channel's rebranding in 2009, the URL was changed to Syfy.com. As of 2010, Syfy.com began to contain webisode series including Riese: Kingdom Falling (as of October 26, 2010), The Mercury Men (as of July 25, 2011), and Nuclear Family (as of October 15, 2012).
Syfy.com was redesigned in early 2015, allowing users to watch the live channel on the site, as well as episodes of most current programming. The website was once again redesigned and combined with SyfyWire.com on June 19, 2017, in alliance with Syfy's rebranding.
SyfyGames.com is an online games portal which offers free-to-play MMO and casual games. The site features predominantly sci-fi and fantasy games from third-party developers. In April 2015, the News section of SyfyGames.com was rebranded to feature "news from G4" to prevent trademark dilution of Syfy's defunct sister gaming-focused network.
Syfy Wire (formerly Sci-Fi Wire and Blastr) is a website operated by Syfy featuring coverage of news in the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres. The site was rebranded in 2010 as Blastr, with the addition of feature articles, guest columnists (such as Phil Plait), popular science news and coverage, and video content. In December 2016, Blastr rebranded as Syfy Wire; editor-in-chief Adam Swiderski stated that this change was to closer associate the website with the Syfy television channel.
As of March 2018, Syfy Wire releases five regular podcasts, including two recap series following The Expanse and Colony and The Fandom Files, which features interviews with public figures about their pop culture obsessions. Guests have included Leland Chee and Mike Daniels of the Green Bay Packers.
Sci Fi Magazine was the channel's official magazine. It later became an unaffiliated magazine but often covers Syfy shows.
Science Fiction Weekly was an online magazine started and edited by Craig Engler and Brooks Peck on August 15, 1995. In April 1996, it began appearing exclusively on "The Dominion" as part of a partnership with the site, before being sold to the Sci Fi Channel completely in 1999. The publication covered various aspects of science fiction, including news, reviews, original art, and interviews, until it merged with Sci-Fi Wire in January 2009.
In 2008, Syfy, then the Sci-Fi Channel, averaged a 1.0 household rating; 242,000 viewers among Adults 18–34 (up 4% vs 2007); 616,000 viewers among Adults 18–49 (up 5% vs 2007); 695,000 viewers among Adults 25–54 (up 6% vs 2007) and 1,278,000 total viewers (up 7% vs 2007). It saw two years of consecutive growth among female audiences, with a 12% increase among women 25–54, a 14% jump in women 18–49 and 6% in women 18–34. The channel also was ranked among the top ten watched channels for male viewers ages 18–54, and women ages 25–54 (#10).
For 2010, Syfy averaged 1.199 million viewers, down 6% from 2009. In Adults 18–49 the channel averaged .539 million viewers, down 11% from 2009. For 2010, Syfy did not hold any of the Top 20 Primetime Original Series.
Deadly Class is an American television series developed by Rick Remender and Miles Orion Feldsott for Syfy and is based on the comic book series of the same name created by Remender and Wesley Craig and published by Image Comics. It stars Benedict Wong, Benjamin Wadsworth, Lana Condor, María Gabriela de Faría, Luke Tennie, Liam James and Michel Duval. Set in the late-1980s, the series revolves around King's Dominion, an elite private academy where students are trained to become assassins.
The series is produced by Sony Pictures Television, Universal Cable Productions, in association with Gozie AGBO, Chipmunk Hill and Getaway Productions. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo serve as executive producers alongside Remender, Feldsott, Mick Betancourt, Lee Toland Krieger, Mike Larocca and Adam Targum. In November 2017, casting began for a pilot ordered by Syfy. In April 2018, the series was picked up for an order of 10 episodes. Filming takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The first episode premiered as a special preview online on December 20, 2018 and on Syfy on December 30. The series officially premiered on January 16, 2019. It has received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, with many praising the cast, visuals and choreography. However, the tone and pacing drew criticism.Haven (TV series)
Haven is an American-Canadian supernatural drama television series loosely based on the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid (2005). The show, which deals with strange events in a fictional town in Maine named Haven, was filmed on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada, and was an American/Canadian co-production. It starred Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, Nicholas Campbell and Eric Balfour, whose characters struggle to help townspeople with supernatural afflictions and protect the town from the effects of those afflictions. The show was the creation of writers Jim Dunn and Sam Ernst.
The one-hour drama premiered on July 9, 2010, on Syfy, and concluded on December 17, 2015. In August 2015, Syfy cancelled the series after five seasons.List of programmes broadcast by Syfy (UK and Ireland)
This list represents television programmes that have aired on the Syfy in the United Kingdom.List of programs broadcast by Syfy
The following list of TV programs for the U.S. Syfy channel specifies first and second run, past, present, and planned. Niches are separated into dramas, games, reality shows, and sports. Mini-series, original films, and anime are also grouped together.Nightflyers (TV series)
Nightflyers is an American horror science fiction television series on Syfy that premiered in the United States on December 2, 2018 and on Netflix, internationally on February 1, 2019. The series is based on the novella and series of short stories of the same name by George R. R. Martin. The first season consisted of ten episodes, which concluded on December 13, 2018. On February 19, 2019, it was reported that Syfy had canceled the series.Syfy (Asia)
See Syfy Universal for a complete list.Syfy Universal Asia (sometimes referred to as Syfy Asia) was an Asian cable television channel, launched on July 1, 2008 which mainly airs science fiction, fantasy and horror programs and movies. It also airs anime programming. It is owned by Universal Networks International.
The channel rebranded as Syfy Universal on July 26, 2010 and on February 7, 2012, Syfy Universal's name was simplified to "Syfy" as well as converting from 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 widescreen picture format since April 1, 2011. The channel delivers Same Day or Express from the U. S. telecast with selected programs.
On July 1, 2017, Syfy along with Universal Channel officially ceased transmission at midnight in the rest of the Asia and in Malaysia and Sri Lanka was discontinued a day earlier. The channel aired a final Syfy Original Movie, Summer Shark Attack on that day, ending with production credits before went off-the-air.Syfy (Dutch TV channel)
See Syfy Universal for a list of other Syfy channels.Syfy was a Dutch-language pay television channel service specialising in science fiction, fantasy, and horror shows and movies. The channel launched in 2007 as a sister channel to the US Sci Fi Channel, with a similar programming line-up. Syfy operated as a channel service of Universal Networks International, a division of NBCUniversal.
Sci-Fi Channel had previously been available in Benelux in the 1990s. Failing to attract audiences, the channel withdrew from Benelux and Scandinavia at the end of 1998, focusing on their UK service instead.An HD-simulcast started through UPC Netherlands on 1 May 2013.It officially ceased broadcasting on 1 July 2016.Syfy (France)
See Sci Fi Channel for a list of other Sci Fi channels.Syfy is the French-speaking 24-hour science fiction entertainment channel based on the US version of the same name. The channel originally launched in December 2005 under the branding of the Sci-fi Channel. It became the fourth "Sci Fi Channel" alongside channels in the United States, UK and Germany. The channel was rebranded Syfy on January 5, 2010 as part of global rebrand. SYFY on August 29, 2017 as part of global rebrand.Syfy (Germany)
See Sci Fi Channel for a list of other Sci Fi channels.Syfy is a German pay television channel, launched on 1 September 2003. It was the third Sci Fi Channel to be launched, following the US and U.K. versions. From 2003 until 2010, it was known as the Sci-Fi channel.Syfy (Latin America)
See Syfy Universal for a list of other Syfy/Sci Fi channels.Syfy is a Latin American channel dedicated to science fiction and fantasy programming, owned by Universal Networks International, a division of NBCUniversal. The local version of the channel, available both in Spanish- and Portuguese-language feeds (for Spanish-speaking countries and for Brazil, respectively), was launched in 2007.
Until October 10, 2010, Syfy was known as Sci Fi.
The Brazilian feed of the channel, as well as its sister network, Studio Universal, is operated since mid-July 2012 by the joint venture between Universal Networks International and Grupo Globo-owned Globosat which already operated the Brazilian version of Universal Channel.Syfy (Spain)
Syfy Universal (also known as Syfy, formerly Sci Fi Channel) is a Spanish digital satellite/cable television channel that launched on June 1, 2006, and specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror shows and movies. Syfy Universal is available on satellite and cable platforms such as Canal+ and on Movistar TV.
Owned by Universal Networks International, it is the fifth extension of the Syfy brand. The programming consists of a mixture of U.S. Syfy first-run shows like Haven and Defiance, current shows like Beauty & the Beast and archive shows such as Smallville and Charmed, as well as science-fiction and fantasy-themed movies, reality shows and scientific divulgation programs (Universo Syfy).Syfy (UK and Ireland)
Syfy (formerly Sci Fi Channel) is a television channel service specialising in science fiction, fantasy and horror shows and movies. It is available via digital cable, IPTV and satellite television platforms. The channel launched in 1995 in the UK a sister channel to the US Sci Fi Channel (now SYFY), with a similar programming line-up. SYFY currently operates as a channel service of Universal Networks International, a division of NBCUniversal.On 13 April 2010, Sci Fi Channel relaunched as Syfy, as part of an ongoing global rebranding. The relaunch was accompanied by the premieres of V and Human Target. The channel was given a new on-air look and a tagline of Imagine Greater.Syfy Universal (Russia)
See Syfy Universal for a list of other Syfy/Sci Fi channels.Syfy formerly known as the Sci Fi Channel. The Syfy in Russia and Kazakhstan is launched on May 30, 2008. It was available on cable and satellite television.
Syfy replaced Sci-fi Channel on April 13, 2010The Expanse (TV series)
The Expanse is an American science fiction television series developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on The Expanse novels by James S. A. Corey. The series is set in a future where humanity has colonized the Solar System and follows a disparate band of antiheroes – United Nations Security Councilwoman Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), ship's officer James Holden (Steven Strait) and his crew – as they unwittingly unravel and place themselves at the centre of a conspiracy which threatens the system's fragile state of Cold War-like peace, the class balance and the survival of humanity.
Critics liked the show's visuals, character development and political narrative. It received a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation ands three Saturn Award nominations for Best Science Fiction Television Series. Alcon Entertainment produces and finances the series. It sold three seasons to Syfy, which canceled the series in May 2018; Amazon Prime Video picked up a fourth season later that month.The Magicians (U.S. TV series)
The Magicians is an American fantasy television series that airs on Syfy and is based on the novel of the same name by Lev Grossman. Michael London, Janice Williams, John McNamara, and Sera Gamble serve as executive producers. A 13-episode order was placed for the first season in May 2015, and the series premiered on December 16, 2015, as a special preview.
In February 2018, the series was renewed for a fourth season of 13 episodes, which premiered on January 23, 2019. In January 2019, Syfy renewed the series for a fifth season.WWE ECW
WWE ECW (also known as ECW on Sci-Fi/Syfy or simply ECW) is a professional wrestling television program that was produced by WWE, based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001. The show's name also referred to the ECW brand, in which WWE employees were assigned to work and perform, complementary to WWE's other brands, Raw and SmackDown. ECW debuted on June 13, 2006, on Sci Fi in the United States and ran for close to four years until it aired its final episode on February 16, 2010, on the rebranded Syfy. It was replaced the following week with WWE NXT. Every episode of the show is available for on-demand viewing via the WWE Network.WWE SmackDown
WWE SmackDown, also referred to as SmackDown Live or simply SmackDown, is a professional wrestling television program that debuted on April 29, 1999. The show's name also refers to the SmackDown brand, to which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform.
SmackDown is broadcast live on Tuesday nights on the USA Network but will be aired on Fox networks beginning on October 4, 2019 and will move back to Fridays. The show used to be broadcast on Thursday nights but moved to Friday on September 9, 2005, before returning to Thursdays on January 15, 2015. On July 19, 2016, it was moved to a live broadcast on Tuesday night. SmackDown! debuted in the United States on the UPN television network on April 29, 1999, but after the merger of UPN and the WB, SmackDown! began airing on The CW in September 2006. The show was moved to MyNetworkTV in October 2008, to Syfy on October 1, 2010 and to USA Network on January 7, 2016. It complements Raw as the second of WWE's two main weekly programs. As of March 3, 2017, all archived episodes of the show are available for on demand viewing via the WWE Network.
SmackDown has been broadcast from 163 arenas, in 148 cities and towns, in seven countries (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iraq in 2003 and 2004 for Tribute to the Troops, Japan in 2005, Italy in 2007, and Mexico in 2011). Prior to switching to the current live format, taped episodes premiered a few hours earlier in Ireland and the United Kingdom and a day earlier in Australia, Canada, Singapore, and Philippines than the United States, due to time differences. For international broadcast listings, see below. The show celebrated its 15th anniversary on October 10, 2014, and the 1000th episode on October 16, 2018.Z Nation
Z Nation is an American action/horror/comedy-drama/post-apocalyptic television series that aired on Syfy, created by Karl Schaefer and Craig Engler, and produced by The Asylum. The first season of 13 episodes premiered on September 12, 2014. Z Nation was filmed in the Spokane, Washington area.
On June 16, 2016, Syfy announced that Z Nation's third season would be preceded by a TV movie, set prior to the climax of season 2 and introducing central characters for the third season. However, the movie was instead presented as the first two episodes of the season, the two-part "No Mercy".
On December 15, 2017, Syfy renewed the series for a fifth season, which premiered on October 5, 2018. On December 22, 2018, Syfy canceled the series after five seasons. The 69th and ultimate episode aired on December 28, 2018, concluding the five-season series.