As a member of the general public who has witnessed the creative gutting of the once great Sci-Fi Channel of the mid-late 1990s (by corporate owners Universal Studios) to what it is today, a languishing cable entity consisting of solely sub-standard, nonsensical, and really stupid programming ideas having nothing to do with Science Fiction, it's safe to say that radical change is long overdue for the current, bafflingly named "SyFy Channel."
Any sort of radical change would benefit the current "SyFy Channel." A new corporate owner, new people to take the place of Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern, and perhaps most importantly...a restoration of the cable channel's original mission of being a pure Science Fiction channel. This would require "First Aid Treatment" for the SyFy Channel's current on-air status of "Identity Ambiguity."
As a business experiment, the gutting of the once great Sci-Fi Channel of the 1990s in favor of an "Identity-less" cable channel just hasn't worked. It has been an unprecedented failure from every conceivable standpoint. Who has benefitted from this? The shareholders of the "SyFy Channel?" Doubtful. There always has been a vast Science Fiction television audience out there that Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern have repeatedly shoved to the curb in favor of their ambiguous and quite frankly..."rotten"...television programming.
The problem here is, corporate owners Universal Studios as well as Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern are not Science Fiction scholars or fans. Thus, the once great Sci-Fi Channel was and is owned and operated by the wrong people. They knew going into the owning and operating of this cable channel that they would never, ever, be able to manufacture and sustain Science Fiction television programming 365 days a year (the can't even do it 7 days out of a year) in no small part due to the fact that none of them are Science Fiction scholars or fans. So, they mutated the once great Sci-Fi Channel into something they knew they could easily own and operate. A nebulous cable channel without a laser sharp, on-air identity. This gave them an excuse to engage in lazy programming habits. Raiding the USA Network film vaults for movies of any subject matter to air..."Cape Fear" anyone? Putting wrestling and a cooking show on the air. Putting a staged and scripted ghost hunting show on the air. This is all easy stuff to manage if you're a television programmer. Even a child and Sarah Palin could do this job at the SyFy Channel.
I have always loved how Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern would periodically say that it was a good thing all around that they were trying to appeal to the widest possible audience by expanding the subject matter of this cable channel. They weren't expanding the subject matter of the SyFy Channel, they were making their programming as nebulous as possible instead. That's not how you grow an audience, it's how you diminish what little audience you have. It did however, turn out to be good thing for Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern...because it allowed them to manage the SyFy Channel on "Lazy Cruise Control." How hard is it to raid the USA Network film vaults for a periodic movie of any subject matter, or put a cooking show on the air, or put wrestling on the air, or put a fake and scripted ghost hunting show on the air?
Radical change is long overdue at the SyFy Channel.