Friday, February 4, 2011

An Open Letter to Brian Roberts, The New CEO of Universal Studios / SyFy Channel

Dear Mr. Roberts,

I trust you have settled into your new digs as the new "Big Guy" in charge of Universal Studios and SyFy Channel. I also trust that eventually, you will come to realize the cess pool of a mess you inherited in the form of Universal Studios and SyFy Channel. I'll start with the most laughable issue first, since SyFy Channel is the most laughable subsidiary any new CEO could be stuck with.

Quite frankly Mr. Roberts, SyFy Channel couldn't make serious money even if Bonnie Hammer hosted her own weekly show pulling magic coins out of her rear end and tossing those magic coins into the magic wishing well (otherwise known as Glen A. Larson's capsized refrigerator.) Mr. Roberts, SyFy Channel hasn't been making any (what you would call) serious money for the past decade that Bonnie Hammer has either been directly in charge of it, or whether she has been within a 50 mile diameter of the channel's offices doing other miscellaneous duties, such as flossing her teeth during industry wide "Sweeps Week."

During Bonnie Hammer's "Reign of Terror""tenure" at the SyFy Channel as its hands on programming chief, she managed to quite successfully waste the shareholder's money putting such nonsense on the air as professional wrestling, weekly horror movies (of her own producing) that occasionally get mentioned (quite sympathetically) in such publications as "Hijinks Magazine" and in the "Girl Scout Troop F-12 Joke Pages" of their monthly magazine. I have no doubt Mr. Roberts, that you have your own financial people who will eventually get around to studying the SyFy Channel's debit and credit sheets for the past decade, and no doubt your financial people will be asking...."Where are all the profits?"......"What has this channel been doing for the past decade?"......"Why do we have all of these 'Pay to The Order of....' receipts to some guy named Ronald D. Moore....and a zero ROI every single time?" "Why has the SyFy Channel only netted $15.97 during the past 10 consecutive years?" My condolences to you Mr. Roberts, because one of the subsidiaries you inherited (SyFy Channel) was already dead long before you got there. A rotting and decaying corpse that started stenching in the year 2002. Coincidentally, about the same time that Bonnie Hammer first arrived there.

SyFy Channel presently has a new production in the works titled "Blood & Chrome", which is a spin-off of the monumentally unsuccessful "Caprica" series, which was a spin-off of Ronald D. Moore's monumentally unsuccessful "Galactica" series. Pull the plug on "Blood & Chrome"....please? Could you do that, Mr. Roberts? Remember the scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" , Mr. Roberts...when Indy just pulls out his pistol and blows away that guy with the sword? Do the same for "Blood & Chrome" Mr. Roberts, I urge you. Don't even let the "Blood & Chrome" series go through its fancy (low ratings) motions of juggling a sword so to speak (as the sword juggling guy did in "Raiders.") Just put the "Blood & Chrome" series to rest now so it will never have that chance. Do you really want to have another flop cable series on your hands just as Ronald D. Moore's prior two series were flops for the SyFy Channel?

Universal Studios is another problem you inherited. Their DVD department is an absolute mess. All too frequently, classic television series have been put out on DVD without any sort of digital cleanup. I specifically refer to the fourth season of "Emergency!" - starring Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe. Without a doubt, the worst DVD transfer of a classic television series in DVD history. Universal Studios long sordid history of releasing classic tv series in such poor condition is notorious among DVD technical experts and fans. I also take issue with the fact that Universal Studios only released the first two seasons of the classic HBO series "Dream On" - starring Brian Benben, and not releasing the final four seasons. They dumped edited versions of the season three episodes on, while seasons four-six have no doubt vanished into the great nether world of Universal Studios corporate incompetence. Does this mean the season three episodes are public domain now? If they are, they're a Hell of alot better off.

Perhaps it would be necessary for you and your staff Mr. Roberts, to take an extra special look at Universal Studios and SyFy Channel. They most definitely need extra special attention in getting their performance standards up to a level that Comcast can be proud of and comfortable with. Of course, that won't happen if the same people working at Universal Studios and SyFy Channel.....remain there. Perhaps it's time for the likes of Bonnie Hammer and Glen A. Larson to go on a world cruise, and keep circling the globe ad infinitum.

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