Space Ramblings

Science Fiction TV’s Problem

Media Science Fiction is in an odd place right now. A huge percentage of movies and TV shows are Science Fiction, or use Science Fiction elements, but Science Fiction on TV is in hiding. A few shows like The Event that do get approved, quickly get canceled. The SciFi Channel has become the SyFy Channel and is jettisoning more of its Science Fiction program, replacing it with Reality TV, cooking shows and assorted junk. So why can’t Science Fiction TV succeed?

The problem comes from different angles. Viewer fragmentation and lower ratings should be rewarding committed fandoms, but fandoms have fragmented just as badly. There are different fandoms, and the Joss Whedon or Doctor Who brand command low audiences, and the fans who wanted Science Fiction go unrepresented. Scripted SciFi TV is also expensive. Why spend 3 million an episode, when you can get the same audience by just having a bunch of idiots running around a house screaming at fake ghosts. Most of all the content isn’t really there. Movie Science Fiction runs on IP’s. Games because Science Fiction settings are easy to do and cool. But TV doesn’t have a lot of Science Fiction IP’s to work with. And not a lot of original ideas either.

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